Every winter, homes are damaged by frozen water pipes. Burst water
pipes are a major inconvenience, but prevention is simple. To prevent
frozen pipes in your home, follow these tips:
Eliminate Drafts. Repair broken windows, seal cracks in basement and crawls pace walls.
Insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing. Typically, these are near walls closer to the outside, in crawl spaces and in the attic. Wrap pipes in unheated areas with weatherproof insulation or heat tape.
Disconnect garden hoses. If there is an outdoor valve, shut off and drain the water supply to outdoor faucets.
Make sure you and your family know the location of your home's water shut-off valve. If a pipe bursts, shutting of the water promptly can help minimize damage.
Bitter Cold Actions
If bitter cold is predicted:
Open cabinet doors under the sinks to allow air to circulate and prevent pipes from freezing in sub-zero weather.
Let water flow, zero or below. Letting a thin stream of water run when the temperature remains below zero can keep your pipes from freezing. There will be no adjustment given on your bill for water used to prevent pipes from freezing. The repair charges for frozen pipes will cost you much more than the water used.
If you are going to be away for several days, set the heat no lower than 55 degrees and turn off the water supply.
If your pipes freeze, be careful of electric shock in areas of standing water. Don't try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.
Where is the Master Valve?
Do you know where the master water supply valve is in your home? Does everyone in the family know where it is? If there is an emergency, you will need to know in a hurry. You can't afford to waste precious minutes searching while the basement floods or carpets are drenched. These are the most likely locations:
Where the water supply enters your home, before or after the water meter.
Near the clothes washer hookup.
Near your water heater.
ATTENTION SNOW BIRDS
Please call 219-462-6174, ext. 2 and let us know if you are going to be
gone for any period of time over one month. Whenever your water meter
does not register any consumption, we can only assume that the meter has
stopped working, unless you notify us that you are going to be gone.
All records will be kept confidential: only the billing department will
be aware that you are gone and the meter readers will not even know that
the house is vacant.
This saves us sending letters trying to repair
stopped meters that are not broken. It is always a good idea to give us
your forwarding address while you're away and even a phone number or
email where you can be reached in case of emergencies.