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Aqua Ohio encourages customers to prevent pipes from freezing

BOARDMAN — As the colder weather season approaches, Aqua Ohio is issuing a reminder to homeowners that they should take steps now to prevent their household water pipes from freezing.

“Every winter, we receive numerous calls from customers who are dealing with frozen or ruptured pipes due to extreme winter temperatures,” says Aqua Ohio President Edmund Kolodziej.

Kolodziej recommends that all customers take the following steps ahead of the severe winter weather:

• Make sure to have a supply of heat tape and pipe insulation, as well as a portable space heater and a hair dryer.

• Locate and visibly mark the home’s master water valve. Use this valve to turn off water to the home.

• Make sure the lids on outdoor meter pits are not broken or missing.

• Shut off and drain any outside faucets including those for lawn sprinkling systems.

• Prevent drafts in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces or basements.

Kolodziej also advises customers to take the following precautions in any unheated areas of their homes when temperatures drop below freezing:

• Wrap pipes with insulation material or heat tape. Wrap indoor water meters with a blanket.

• For interior plumbing located on an outside wall such as a kitchen sink, install heat tape to the pipes beneath the sink. If no small children are in the house, open cabinet doors beneath the sink.

• When temperatures remain near 10°F, customers may want to leave a very thin stream of water running continuously from at least one tap in their home — preferably the one farthest from the meter.

If a customer can locate the frozen area of a pipe, open a spigot and use a hand-held hair dryer (blow dryer) or heat tape to thaw the area.