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Tips to prevent frozen water pipes from Kentucky American Water

The winter season is here, and bitterly cold temperatures are in the forecast for the next several days. Kentucky American Water offers the following tips to help property owners prevent the possibility of frozen pipes.
Keith Cartier, vice president of operations for Kentucky American Water, stresses that it's important to make preparations to prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes before temperatures plunge. “When water freezes, it expands and takes up more space. That is why water that freezes inside a water pipe can cause it to burst. Burst water pipes can cause a lot of damage to a home or business, and we want to do everything we can to help our customers avoid that inconvenience and, perhaps, costly repairs,” he explained.
According to Doug Brock, manager of field operations for Kentucky American Water, customers with frozen or burst pipes are unfortunately a common theme in the winter cold. “When our field crews are called to investigate why a customer has no water during cold weather, frozen lines are one of the first things we look for. Most often frozen lines occur in areas such as crawl spaces or outside walls, where unprotected plumbing tends to be more vulnerable to the elements.”
Luckily, these problems are preventable by evaluating areas of vulnerability throughout the home. Implementing the following winterization tips now can help avoid headaches later:
PRESS RELEASE www.amwater.com
 Search your house for un-insulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Check attics,
crawl spaces, and outside walls. Consider wrapping pipes with insulation sleeves.
Another option is electric heating tape, but follow manufacturers’ instructions
carefully to avoid a fire hazard.
 Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking to keep cold air
away from pipes, especially where cable TV or phone lines enter the house.
 When below-freezing temperatures are forecast, keep a slow trickle of water flowing
through faucets that are supplied by pipes running through an unheated or unprotected
space. A steady stream of water about the size of a pencil lead can keep water from
 Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around 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 outside faucets is shut off inside your house (via a
turnoff valve), and that the lines are drained. Don’t forget to disconnect and drain
garden hoses.
 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, have the water turned off at the
water main, and drain all water from pipes and fixtures to prevent the possibility of
 Set the thermostat 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 considered to be
safe for pipes.
PRESS RELEASE www.amwater.com
 Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket. While not really at danger for freezing, this can lower your heating bills.
Kentucky American Water encourages everyone to take action now to prevent frozen water pipes during the winter season.
Kentucky 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 half a million people. For more information, visit www.kentuckyamwater.com
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

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