Fall is the Best Time to Winterize Homes

  Fall is the Best Time to Winterize Homes

     American Water Offers Tips to Keep Pipes from Freezing and Breaking

Business Wire

VOORHEES, N.J. -- October 22, 2012

Now is the time to secure homes against freezing pipes, according to American
Water, the nation's largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility.

Mark LeChevallier, Ph.D, director of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship
for American Water, stresses that it's important to make preparations to
prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes before temperatures plunge.
“Although the winter season can pose many challenges to a homeowner, one of
the biggest and most costly is the risk of frozen pipes. When ice expands
inside pipes, it can crack and burst the pipe, leaving homeowners with a
costly plumber bill, and thousands of dollars in damages from water leaking
inside the house,” he explained.

According to Dr. LeChevallier, winterizing is just as important for homeowners
in parts of the country that experience only periodic freezes as it is for
those in traditional cold weather states, since home construction in southern
locations will sometimes include pipes in unprotected locations without
insulation, including crawl spaces, and these can be particularly at risk.

Luckily, these problems are preventable by evaluating areas of vulnerability
throughout the home. Implementing the following American Water winterization
tips now can help avoid headaches later:

  *Search your house for uninsulated pipes, especially in unheated areas.
    Consider wrapping pipes with electric heating tape, but follow
    manufacturers' instructions carefully to avoid a fire hazard.
  *Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations, especially where
    cable TV or phone lines enter the house, with caulking to keep cold winds
    away from pipes.
  *If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by
    opening them slightly. Close them when water appears.
  *Make certain that the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your
    house (via a turnoff valve), and that the lines are drained.
  *Drain and shut off entirely the water to any unoccupied residence such as
    a summer or vacation home. A loss of power during a winter storm could
    cause pipes to freeze. If you intend to leave a property entirely without
    heat, be sure to drain all water to prevent the possibility of frozen
  *Set the thermostat at 55 degrees if you’re going out of town. Although you
    may be able to get away with a lower temperature, this setting is
    considered to be safe for pipes.
  *Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket. While not
    really at danger for freezing, this can lower your heating bills.

Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest publicly traded
U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees,
N.J., the company employs approximately 7,000 dedicated professionals who
provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated
15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information
can be found at www.amwater.com.

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