South Jersey Plumbers: Article About Frozen Pipe Prevention and Cures
Freezing pipes both outside and inside your home can cause severe damage to your plumbing system. Take preventative measures to keep your household water supply up and running throughout the year, and learn some first aid strategies for dealing with pipes that fall victim to unexpected cold snaps. Follow up immediately with a call to your South Jersey plumbers for permanent repairs.
Make sure that you routinely turn off the water supply to your outside faucets each autumn before cold weather sets in. If possible, drain all water from your outdoor faucet supply system. Do not leave hoses attached to exterior faucets because trapped water inside will freeze and cause damage. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, make sure to drain it before winter. Otherwise, it is likely to sustain damage from freezing.
You are probably aware of the danger that frigid temperatures pose to your outdoor plumbing pipes. You may be surprised, however, to learn that any interior plumbing in your home that is located near exterior walls is vulnerable to freezing in severely cold temperatures too. If you live in a mobile home or an inadequately insulated structure, this is particularly true.
One advance measure you can take to prevent freezing is to apply heat tape to any at-risk pipes in unheated areas. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter to avoid pipe damage. Then, wrap the pipes in fiberglass insulation or rubber insulating sleeves to hold in the warmth generated by the heat tape. Be sure to include exposed hot water pipes in your preventative strategy.
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Check around the exterior of your home for holes or cracks that expose your indoor plumbing to outside air. Pay particular attention to dryer vents and places where wiring or pipes enter the structure. Seal these points with all-weather caulk and insulation.
When cold weather arrives, adjust your home thermostat to a constant temperature for daytime and nighttime. This helps your furnace adjust for extreme mercury fluctuations. Open cabinet doors in kitchen, bath and laundry rooms so warmed air can surround your plumbing pipes. Additionally, turn on a faucet near an exterior wall to a trickle to keep water flowing.
If you notice a decline in water pressure in severely cold weather, it may indicate that your plumbing is beginning to freeze. If your pipes freeze despite your best efforts, take methodical countermeasures until your plumber arrives. Turn on the faucets in your home and leave them on, and do not use an open flame in an attempt to thaw frozen pipes. This could be disastrous, and repairing water damage from a burst pipe is far easier than dealing with a house fire. Instead, try using a hair dryer to thaw the ice. Start with the pipe section that is closest to a faucet and work your way out toward the exposed section of pipe.
If a pipe bursts, shut off your water supply at the main valve to prevent further water damage. Your plumber is best qualified to make the necessary repairs and get your water supply up and running.