With bitterly cold
temperatures forecast in Northwest Indiana, Indiana American Water Company (IAWC)
is urging customers to take action to secure homes and businesses against
“With much of the
state in the deep freeze over the next several days, we are encouraging
customers to prepare now to protect their plumbing system against the
extreme cold,” IAWC President Deborah Dewey said. “Failing to protect your
plumbing from cold temperatures can be disruptive and very costly. When ice
expands inside pipes, it can crack and burst them, leaving homeowners with a
costly plumbing bill, and thousands of dollars in water damage.”
These problems are
preventable, however, by evaluating areas of vulnerability and taking
certain precautions. Implementing the following winterization tips now can
help avoid headaches later:
* Search your house
for uninsulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Consider wrapping pipes
with foam insulation or electric heating tape, but follow manufacturer's
instructions carefully to avoid a fire hazard.
* Check to make
sure your garage door and crawl space doors/vents are closed.
* Leave cabinet
doors open in kitchen and bathroom areas to allow warm air to circulate and
consider letting a faucet drip to keep water moving through the pipes. If
you have young children, relocate any chemicals of cleaners that may have
otherwise been out of reach behind the cabinet doors.
* Seal cracks and
holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking, especially where cable
TV or phone lines enter the house, to keep cold air away from pipes.
* Make certain the
water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve),
the lines are drained, and the hose is disconnected from the spigot.
* 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 pipes.
* Set the
thermostat at no lower than 55 degrees if you’re going out of town. Although
you may be able to get away with a lower temperature, this setting is
generally considered to be safe for pipes.
* Make sure you
know where your main water shut-off valve is in case you need to shut your
water off it in an emergency situation.
* Consider wrapping
your water heater in an insulation blanket. While not really at danger for
freezing, this can lower your heating bills.
information on preventing frozen pipes is available at