TOMS RIVER – As we now enter the freezing winter season with sub-zero wind chills and cold temperatures, SUEZ is asking its business and residential customers to follow water pipe tips to avoid any costly repairs.
“Winter brings a wide variety of potentially dangerous weather with snow, sleet, freezing rain and blustery wind,” Director of Operations Jim Mastrokalos said. “With forecasted cold air approaching our area which we have not seen for a couple of years and for the remainder of the winter, taking steps to prevent water meters, pipes, plumbing and appliances from freezing is critical by following a few simple guidelines.”
Below are the following tips SUEZ urges those take during the winter season:
Outside the home
- Disconnect and drain the garden hose connection.
- Close all outside vents, crawl spaces and doors so cold air and wind does not seep inside.
- Fix broken windows and seal cracks in the walls.
Inside the home
- Wrap the meter and water lines subject to freezing in insulation or heat tape, which is 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. 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 are 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 is 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.
For more information, customers can call customer service at 877-565-1456, or visit mysuezwater.com.