With winter around the corner and freezing temperatures becoming more frequent, Pennsylvania American Water reminded residents today that cold air can cause pipes to freeze and burst, potentially causing flooding and severe water damage.
“By taking a few precautionary steps before the cold really sets in, homeowners can help prevent frozen pipes and costly repairs, as well as save water and energy,” said William Kelvington, vice president of operations for Pennsylvania American Water.
Pennsylvania American Water offers the following tips to get your home ready for winter:
- Search for pipes that are not insulated or that pass through unheated spaces, such as crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores.
- Before freezing weather sets in, make sure the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), and that lines are drained.
- Nearly 15 percent of an average home energy bill goes to heating water. Wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket can help reduce heat loss.
- To save wear and tear on your cooling system, drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes and check for excess water pooled in equipment. If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly. Close them when water appears.
- Add extra insulation to the attic to prevent warm air from creeping into your roof, causing ice damage to the roof and gutters.
- Keep water temperature around 120 degrees and install inexpensive low-flow showerheads to reduce hot water use. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees would reduce water heating costs by 6 to 10 percent.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts to remove debris that could freeze and cause clogs during cold weather. Know where your water main is located in case you need to turn it off during an emergency.
You can find additional winter weather tips at www.pennsylvaniaamwater.com under the About Us tab and selecting the Customer Communications link.
Pennsylvania American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.
Terry M. Maenza
T: 610-670-7789 ext. 123