As overnight temperatures plunge to the teens, Aqua Illinois Water Company is asking customers to help keep their pipes from freezing. ‘’Frozen pipes become a concern anytime the high temperature drops below freezing for a sustained period of time,’’ said Aqua Illinois President Craig Blanchette. He says the company wants customers to know how to keep their water flowing during an Arctic blast, and also wants them to know what to do if their pipes freeze.
Some tips from Aqua include:
- Make sure you have a supply of heat tape and pipe insulation, as well as a portable space heater and hair dryer.
- Locate and visibly mark you home’s master water valve. In the event of a water line break use this value to turn water to the house off;
- Make sure lids on outdoor meter pits are not broken or missing;
- Shut off and drain any outside faucets – including those used for lawn sprinkling;
- Prevent drafts in unheated areas, such as a crawl space or basements, by replacing broken glass or making other repairs;
If there are unheated areas in your home Blanchette says when temperatures drop below freezing:
- Wrap pipes with insulation material or heat tape. Proper use of portable space heaters can also help keep exposed pipes from freezing;
- For interior plumbing located on an outside wall, such as a kitchen sink, install heat tape to the pipes beneath the sink. If no small children are in the house, open cabinet doors beneath the sink to allow warm air in the home to reach pipes.
- When temperatures remain near 10-degrees, customers may want to leave a very thin stream of water running continuously from at least one tap – preferably the one furthest away from the meter.
- If a customer can locate the frozen area of the pipe, open a spigot and use a hand-held hair dryer (blow dryer) or heat tape to thaw the area. If this does not resolve the issue, contact a licensed plumber.