Air pipes

Missouri American Water: How to Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter

Picture KOAM

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — As consistent below-freezing weather is forecast, Missouri American Water is advising residents and homeowners to take precautions to avoid frozen water pipes. Following these simple guidelines can protect plumbing, save money on repairs, and reduce water costs.

“Taking preventive measures as soon as colder temperatures arrive can help protect our customers from repair costs and higher water bills this winter,” said Rich Svindland, president of Missouri American Water. “They can also help prevent temporary interruptions in water service.”

Make sure you are prepared by:

  • Know the location of your main water shutoff valve.
  • Turn off and drain your irrigation system.
  • Eliminate sources of cold air near water.
  • Protect exposed pipes by wrapping them with insulation, fabric or newspaper.

When temperatures stay below freezing, you should:

  • Leave doors open on cabinets and vanities to expose pipes to warmer air.
  • Keep the water moving through the pipes by allowing a small stream of water.
  • If it’s snowing, let the snow cover your water meter and the snow will act as insulation.

If your pipes freeze, you should:

  • Turn off the water immediately.
  • Thaw pipes with warm air, not direct heat. Avoid leaving space heaters unattended and avoid using kerosene heaters or open flames.
  • Slowly turn the water back on once the pipes have thawed and check for cracks and leaks.

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