Illinois American Water gives tips on how to avoid freezing pipes

By WEEK Reporter

January 2, 2013 Updated Jan 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- As winter temperatures consistently dip below freezing, Illinois American Water want to make sure you keep the water flowing safely in your home.

During this time of year, water pipes are prone to freezing, and that frozen water can lead to other problems such as cracked pipes and flooding.

Officials at Illinois American Water say the easiest way to keep your pipes from freezing is to run a very thin line of water overnight.

However, if your pipes do freeze, there are certain steps you have to take in order to minimize damage to your home.

"The very first thing you want to do if you have frozen pipes is to turn that shutoff valve off so that water is no longer flowing inside the home," said Karen Cotton, Illinois American Water Spokesperson. "Then you want to have it thaw out. Then look for cracks and make sure you don't find any. If you find them, make sure you get them repaired."

Officials also stress that you do not use an open flame to thaw out frozen pipes because of the risk of starting a fire.

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