New York American Water reminds customers to winterize their homes in advance of winter’s freezing temperatures to help protect water pipes from damage.
“Cold air can cause pipes to freeze and burst, potentially causing flooding and severe water damage,” said William Varley, president of New York American Water. “By taking a few simple steps before the cold really sets in, homeowners can help prevent costly repairs, as well as save water and energy.”
To help its customers prepare for the colder months, New York American Water offers the following guidelines to help prevent costly damage and repairs from frozen pipes this winter season:
- Know what areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms and outside walls are most vulnerable to freezing.
- Eliminate sources of cold air near lines by fixing windows, insulating walls, closing crawl spaces and eliminating drafts.
- Protect exposed pipes by wrapping them with heat tape or insulation available at hardware stores. If you have installed heat tape on exposed pipes, inspect the tape for cracks or fraying and make any needed repairs.
- If your meter is outside, make sure your meter lid is closed tightly and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation, so don’t disturb it.
- Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut-off valve is and how to turn it off and on. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
- Disconnect garden hoses and if you have an indoor valve for the outside faucet(s), shut it off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
- To save wear and tear on your cooling system, drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes and check for excess water pooled in the equipment.
- Keep your water heater temperature around 120 degrees and install inexpensive low flow shower heads to reduce water use. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees could reduce water heating costs too.
- Turn off and drain your irrigation systems.
- If no one will be home for an extended period of time during extreme winter weather, consider contacting us to turn your water off altogether and hiring a plumber to drain your system. That way, if your furnace stops working, there will be no water in your pipes to freeze.