Due to the below-freezing temperatures and wind chills, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. (Aqua) is providing tips to its customers to help them avoid frozen and broken water pipes in their homes.
Aqua says 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 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 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 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 can locate the frozen area, use a hand-held hair dryer (blow dryer) or heat tape to thaw the area.
Aqua advises 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.
Aqua Pennsylvania serves approximately 1.4 million residents in 30 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.WTRG EDITOR’S NOTE: Aqua is prepared to do a weatherization “show and tell” of how to prevent frozen pipes inside of a home in certain areas of its service territory. The demonstration would include the proper use of pipe insulation, heat tape, blankets, how to locate the master valve, etc. Any reporter or photographer who is interested in a weatherization show and tell should contact Donna Alston at 610.645.1095 to determine if it is available in their area.