BRYN MAWR, Pa.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Aqua Pennsylvania (Aqua) is reminding its customers how to avoid frozen and broken water pipes in their homes in the wake of severely cold weather in some regions, particularly those experiencing sustained temperatures well below freezing.
“If a customer has the misfortune of finding they have a frozen pipe and can locate the frozen area, they can open the nearest tap and use a hand-held hair dryer (blow dryer) or heat tape to thaw the area”
“When temperatures approach or drop to single digits, it’s important for customers to ensure that their interior plumbing is protected from freezing,” said Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca. “If pipes become frozen, customers might find that they have no water—at best—or that their pipes will burst, causing extensive and costly damage inside their home.
“In this weather, when customers find they have no water, in most cases, it’s a result of pipes that have become frozen inside their homes. This is a situation that can be easily avoided if customers know the preventive steps they can take. The main reason pipes freeze is they are exposed to cold air blowing from windows or openings in the exterior wall. Sealing off those air leaks will prevent most of these instances from occurring.”
Lucca said that customers should use the following tips in unheated areas of their homes when temperatures drop below freezing.
- Wrap pipes with insulation material or heat tape. Wrap indoor water meters with a blanket. Proper use of portable space heaters can also keep exposed pipes in drafty areas from freezing.
- For interior plumbing located on an outside wall such as a kitchen sink, install heat tape or insulation material to the pipes beneath the sink. If no small children are in the house, open cabinet doors beneath the sink to allow the warm air in the home to reach the pipes.
- Make sure the lids on outdoor meter pits are not broken or missing.
- Shut off the inside valve and drain any outside faucets including those for lawn sprinkling systems.
- When temperatures remain near 10°F, customers might want to leave a very thin stream of water (about the diameter of a pencil) running continuously from at least one tap—preferably the one farthest from the meter. The additional cost of the water is cheaper than the cost of repairing ruptured pipes.
“If a customer has the misfortune of finding they have a frozen pipe and can locate the frozen area, they can open the nearest tap and use a hand-held hair dryer (blow dryer) or heat tape to thaw the area,” said Lucca. “It’s important that the tap be open so they water has somewhere to go once the pipe is thawed.”
Lucca said if a frozen pipe doesn’t thaw within a few minutes of applying heat, customers should call a plumber immediately. He also advised that every customer should know where their master valve is so that they can turn off the water to their home in case a pipe breaks inside their home. Customers should hang a tag on the valve marked main water shutoff. This information can be found at AquaFrozenTips.com.
Aqua Pennsylvania serves approximately 1.4 million people in 31 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.