Cold Weather Advice for Home Owners and Tenants

New Jersey American Water created this fantastic document illustrating the many things you can do to prevent frozen pipes in your house. Whether you are a homeowner or renting an apartment, consider this advice.

Before Cold Weather Sets In

  • Make sure everyone knows where the main water shut-off is located.
  • Check for pipes that pass through unheated spaces or rooms, such as crawlspaces, basements, garages, or uninsulated exterior walls.
  • Protect exposed pipes by wrapping them with heat tape, pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation.
  • If your water meter is outside, make sure your meter lid is closed.
  • Eliminate sources of cold air near pipes by sealing openings or cracks that could cause drafts.
  • Drain all outdoor garden hoses. If you have an indoor valve for the outside faucet(s), shut it off and drain water.
  • Turn off and flush your irrigation system.
  • If you are going to be away for a few days leave your thermostat at 55 degrees.

When Temperatures Fall Below Freezing

  • If your kitchen or other sinks are located against exterior walls, open cabinets in that space to allow warm air to reach the pipes.
  • Allow a trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing and collect water in a bucket or tub for other purposes.
  • If your pipes freeze, shut off the water immediately.
  • Do not thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off.
  • Heat a frozen pipe by warming the air around it – avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
Cold Weather Advice for Home Owners and Tenants

As Temperatures Drop, New Jersey American Water Reminds Customers to Prepare for Winter Weather


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