Cold New Jersey winters can cause plumbing pipes to freeze and even burst, resulting in costly damage to your home.
Why do pipes freeze and why should you care?
Simply put, water expands as it freezes. When water expands inside a pipe it puts great pressure on the pipe causing it to burst. This pressure is enough to rupture most any pipe filled with water. When the pipe bursts it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage to your home.
Pipes that are most at risk for freezing include:
• Pipes that are exposed to severe cold
• Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home such as an attic, crawl space or garage.
• Pipes located in exterior walls
• Any plumbing on the exterior of the home
How to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting:
Insulating pipes can help prevent pipes from becoming frozen and bursting. But beware; insulated pipes can still freeze when there is no water movement to keep the pipes warm. When temperatures are at or below freezing running a steady drop of hot and cold water from your faucets may keep your pipes from freezing. If your pipes are not insulated, they can freeze even with a small flow of water.
It is also a good practice to open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let in warmer air. The warmer air will circulate around the plumbing.
Keep the temperature in your home 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Pipe bursts happen, even when you do take steps to prevent it. If a pipe burst occurs there are important actions to take:
• Shut off the water
• Turn off your heating system
• Turn of electric devices
• Cover your electricity main box
• Call a plumber
• Protect your possessions- move furniture, clothing etc. away from the burst pipe
• Remove as much water as you can with buckets, pans, sump pump or wet-dry vacuum and place fans and a dehumidifier in the area
• Call your insurer if you think you may need to file a claim
• Record the damage for use in an insurance claim
A.J. Perri has the latest in specialty equipment, electric pipe defrosters and we’ll determine the cause of the frozen pipes as well as suggest winterization options.