A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky American Water offers timely, useful winterization tips for consumers; avoid headaches


As you tend to your fall yardwork and prepare for colder weather, Kentucky American Water offers a friendly and useful tip: take measures now to help prevent home water pipes from freezing this winter.

Frozen water lines typically occur in areas such as crawl spaces or along the outside walls where unprotected plumbing tends to be more vulnerable to the elements.

Here are some winterization tips for actions now that can help you avoid headaches later:

 Search your house for un-insulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Check attics, crawl spaces, and outside walls. Consider wrapping pipes with insulation sleeves. Another option is electric heating tape, but follow manufacturers’ instructions carefully to avoid a fire hazard.

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Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking to keep cold air away from pipes, especially where cable TV or phone lines enter the house.

When below-freezing temperatures occur, keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets that are supplied by pipes running through an unheated or unprotected space to keep the water from freezing, and keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.

Make certain that the water to outside faucets is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), and that the lines are drained.

Don’t forget to disconnect and drain garden hoses if you have not done so already. 
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Drain and shut off entirely the water to any unoccupied residence such as a summer or vacation home. A loss of power during a winter storm could cause pipes to freeze. 


Set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees if you’re going out of town. Although you may be able to get away with a lower temperature, this setting is considered to be safe for pipes.

Make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is located inside your home so that you can. shut off your water quickly in the event of a water pipe leak. This valve is often located in a utility room or closet or in the basement. 


Kentucky American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing water and/or wastewater services to approximately half a million people. The company was recognized as a Best Place to Work in Kentucky in 2014, 2015 and 2016.


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One Comment

  1. Laurie says:

    It is important to properly winterize your home, as it can help you save money in various ways. Love the infographic, very informative. Thanks for sharing!

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