As winter arrives in the Quad Cities, it’s important for homeowners to take action to avoid costly plumbing issues.
DAVENPORT, Iowa – While the Quad Cities typically don’t see their first inch of snow until early December, the area is expected to see its first flakes of the season during the week of November 8.
As cold weather sets in, it’s important for tenants and landlords to take steps to prevent costly pipe breaks and water meters from freezing.
State Farm reported that Illinois was the No.1 state in frozen line water loss claims in the United States, and frozen line loss claims totaled more than $ 270 million at nationwide in 2018.
To help protect your pipes and meters from rapidly approaching freezing temperatures, follow these tips that Iowa American Water shared on Monday, November 8.
- Make sure everyone in your household knows the location of the main water shutoff valve in an emergency.
- Check if there are water lines running through unheated areas of your home, such as crawl spaces or garages.
- You can protect any exposed pipe in your home by wrapping it in pre-molded foam rubber sheets, heat tape, or fiberglass insulation – all available at your local hardware store.
- If your water meter is located outside, make sure the cover is tightly closed.
- If you plan to leave your house for a few days or more, be sure to leave your thermostat at at least 55 degrees to avoid freezing.
When we reach temperatures below the freezing point:
- If the sinks are located along the exterior walls, open the cabinet doors under the sink to allow hot air to reach the pipes.
- Let a small trickle of water run overnight to prevent freezing and collect the water in a bucket for reuse – no wasted water!
If your pipes freeze:
- Immediately shut off your water.
- Do not attempt to thaw the pipes while the water is still on. Freezing can often cause invisible cracks in pipes that will leak when thawed.
- Apply heat – avoid using kerosene heaters or open flames – to the air around the frozen pipe.
- Once thawed, be sure to slowly reopen the water and check for any new cracks or leaks.