December 8, 2021

Cold Weather Plumbing Precautions

The first frost of the cold season has come and gone already. The cold weather is here to stay for the next few months, but you and your family are not the only things that need to stay warm. Another major concern during the cold seasons is your pipes freezing that lead or are within your home. Our experienced South Jersey plumbers provided some tips to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting this winter season.

Why Pipes Freezing Is A Problem

Pipes freezing is a major problem that can occur in homes that don’t take proper care of their pipes when the temperatures drop below freezing. Water expands as it freezes which causes pressure to mount against the pipes’ walls. Whether it is metal or plastic, the increased water pressure can cause pipes to burst rather easily. Certain pipes in a household are more prone to freezing than others. Pipes that are run outside such as outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool lines, and sprinkler lines, can be at high risk for bursting during the cold months. Water supply pipes that are in unheated areas of your home like basements and garages are prone to freezing as well. In general, any pipes that lack proper insulation run the risk of freezing over.

How To Protect Your Pipes

Before the below-freezing temperatures arrive, there are a few ways to protect your pipes from freezing. The first way is to drain water from the swimming pool and sprinkler pipes since they will be out of use during the wintertime. Second, pack up and store away your hoses that are used outdoors. Once hoses are removed, you want the inside valves closed and the outside valves open to release any water that is in the hose bib. You may want to consider adding insulation to certain areas of your home like garages and crawl spaces. Insulation helps out in many ways, not just with pipe protection. Lastly, consider installing different product-specific addons like insulation sleeves, heat tape, and other products that are designed to prevent pipes from freezing.

How To Thaw Frozen Pipes Properly

If you come to find out that your pipes have unfortunately become frozen, here are some ways to start thawing them properly. You can tell if a pipe is frozen based on if it has a slow leak and not much more. You want to keep water flowing through the pipe running so the water helps thaw the ice that has been created inside. If no flammable objects are near the piping, use a space heating or heating pad to apply heat to sections of the pipe. The heat should be applied until the normal water pressure is restored to the pipe. Chances are, one frozen pipe means there are other frozen pipes in your home so be sure to check all of them out!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pipes during the cold season, reach out to Fante’s PHVAC at 1-609-835-1512!

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