As colder temperatures set in across the region, SUEZ is encouraging its customers to prepare for another winter by protecting their water pipes and meters from freezing. “Winter weather can have significant and costly impacts on household plumbing,” said Chris Graziano, vice president and general manager of SUEZ operations in New York. “Taking small steps to protect water meters and pipes from the cold can prevent potential water damage inside your home.” SUEZ offers the following tips to help protect pipes and water meters from freezing: Outside the home
- Disconnect and drain the garden hose connection and irrigation system.
- Close all outside vents, crawl spaces and doors so cold air doesn’t seep inside.
- Keep garage doors closed.
Inside the home
- Wrap the meter and water lines subject to freezing in insulation or heat tape (available at hardware stores).
- Make sure the shutoff valves on either side of the water meter are working properly. Place a tag on the main shutoff valve and make sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it during an emergency.
- Check the water meter periodically. Contact SUEZ if you notice any damage.
- If you have had problems in the past, you may want to keep a trickle of water running from the highest faucet during frigid weather. You will be billed for the water used, but this may help prevent costly plumbing repairs that result from broken pipes.
If you won’t be home
- If you’re going away for an extended period, keep a minimum amount of heat on in the house. This will help protect the pipes in case the temperature drops.
- If you plan to turn the heat off, drain all the water from the pipes, toilets and water heater, and turn off the power source to the water heater.
If the pipes freeze
- If your pipes freeze, it’s important to clear blockages as soon as possible to minimize damage. It may be best to call a licensed plumber.
- If a water pipe has burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house.
- Open a nearby faucet slightly so the pipe can drain as it thaws.
- Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.
- Never use hot water or a blowtorch on a frozen pipe or water meter.
SUEZ also advises that sub-freezing temperatures can cause water mains to break and can cause water to cover roadways creating unsafe driving conditions. If you see a leak, or your water service is disrupted, please contact the company’s Customer Service Center at the phone number on your bill.