Il American Water gives tips on how to defrost frozen pipes

Feb 17, 2014

Illinois American Water is reminding customers to guard their pipes from freezing. The company says it’s responding to an increase in calls from customers whose pipes have frozen.

Illinois American says residents should run a pencil-thin stream of water when temperatures dip below zero. Cabinet doors should also be kept open to keep pipes warm. Spokeswoman Karen Cotton says there are steps people can take if their pipes have frozen.

"The first thing you need to do is shut off the water and then apply heat to the frozen pipe in a safe manner. So, warm the air around it. Do not use an open flame. Use a hair dryer or put a space heater in that room, or warm water. But be very careful; do it gradually."

Cotton says customers should contact a plumber if they find any cracks in their pipes. She says residents should also refrain from removing snow from outdoor water meters. Cotton says the snow acts as an insulator from the cold.