New Jersey American Water Urges Customers to Prepare Pipes for Winter Weather
Prepare the pipes now to avoid cold, winter weather headache
CAMDEN, N.J. – DEC. 8, 2021 – As winter quickly approaches and temperatures continue to fall, New Jersey American Water urges homeowners aside a few moments right now to prepare their plumbing for the coming cooler conditions and avoid the cost of broken pipe repairs.
“Although New Jersey winters are difficult to predict, we can be sure that cold weather is coming and we need to prepare our homes and protect areas susceptible to freezing,” said New Jersey American Water Vice President of Operations Tom Shroba. “Preparing now can save the stress and cost of dealing with frozen pipes and the damage they might cause.”
Property owners are responsible for maintenance of the water service line from the curb to the house, as well as any in-home piping. New Jersey American Water encourages customers to be mindful of the following tips and take the necessary precautions as we enter the winter season:
To prepare now:
- Familiarize yourself with areas of your home most susceptible to freezing, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms and outside walls.
- Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
- Locate your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
- Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric might also work. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation, so don't disturb it.
- Drain all outdoor garden hoses, roll them up and store them inside to prevent cracking. If you have an indoor valve for the outside faucet(s), shut it off and drain water from pipes leading to the faucet(s).
- Turn off and drain your irrigation system.
- If you are going to be away for a few days or more, leave your thermostat at 55 degrees to prevent freezing.
- If no one will be home for an extended period during the winter months, consider contacting New Jersey American Water at (800) 272-1325 to turn your water off and hire a plumber to drain your system. By doing this, there will be no water in your pipes to freeze if your furnace stops working.
When temperatures are consistently at or below freezing:
- If you have pipes that are vulnerable to freezing, allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.
If your pipes freeze:
- Shut off the water immediately. Don't attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
- Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it, or by applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended.
- Do not use kerosene heaters or open flames to thaw pipes inside your home.
- Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.
New Jersey American Water also advises that sub-freezing temperatures can hasten aging water mains to break and cause unsafe driving conditions. If you see a leak, or your water service is disrupted, please report an emergency online at emergency.amwater.com or contact the company’s Customer Service Center toll-free at (800) 272-1325. Additionally, please continue to check the company’s alerts page as well as the Facebook page for any disruptions that could be impacting your area.
For more information regarding simple tips and tricks to help protect your pipes and avoid the cost of broken pipe repairs, view the infographic on New Jersey American Water’s website, and the How to Protect your Pipes video on the company’s YouTube channel.
New Jersey American Water, a 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 2.8 million people. For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook.
About American Water
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable, and reliable water services to our customers to help make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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