When the winter temperatures start to change, so do the wardrobes for many Burlington, Camden and Gloucester County homeowners who want to keep from freezing. But unfortunately, your plumbing pipes don’t have the same option! That’s why it is imperative that you take measures to stop your pipes from freezing and to avoid the headache of a burst pipe or an ice blockage that prevents all of the plumbing in your home from operating properly.
Here are some tips to prevent your pipes from freezing or bursting this winter, straight from Anyzek’s licensed and certified plumbers.
Why Pipes Freeze
The reason pipes freeze may seem pretty obvious: the temperatures drop below 32ºF. However, many homeowners assume that because their pipes are out of sight and out of mind, they are also out of the way of any sub-freezing temperatures. The pipes hidden behind your walls, under your floors, and attached to your home’s exterior are susceptible to the temperatures that pipes freeze at, and should be either insulated or kept well above freezing temperatures by your heating system.
Preventing Indoor Pipes from Freezing
There are two things that can prevent your indoor living space from reaching extremely cold temperatures: your home’s insulation and air sealing, and your home’s heating equipment. When you are in your home each and every day, there is low risk of your pipes freezing because you are keeping your thermostat on and set to a comfortable temperature (unless your furnace or boiler stops working).
But what about when you leave for a few days, or go on vacation? Make sure you leave your thermostat set to at least 55ºF, even when you won’t be in the house. This is especially important for homes with boiler forced air systems. Keeping your thermostat set to 55ºF minimizes any heating costs while you are away, which will still be much less expensive than a service call to fix a frozen or burst pipe!
Preventing Outdoor Pipes from Freezing
Have you wrapped up your landscaping and gardening for the season? Make sure to drain any and all outdoor water lines, and unhook any hoses from your outdoor faucets. Even if temperatures aren’t looking to be below freezing, leaving your hose connected does not allow for the pipe to properly drain. Once everything has been removed from the faucet, close the water supply valves to that faucet and let it drain, while leaving the faucet on.
When to Insulate your Pipes
There may be some pipes in your home that fall in between these two categories, like pipes in a basement or crawl space that are inside the home but not in a conditioned area. These make the best candidates for insulating the pipes in your home. Another way to approach preventing pipes from freezing in the basement or crawl space would be to insulate the area itself! Properly insulating the area underneath your home can keep temperatures throughout your home more stable, reducing your energy loss and protecting your plumbing.
Need Help with Your Plumbing? Ask Anyzek!
Whether you are looking for help preventing your pipes from freezing, or you are in the middle of a plumbing emergency, Anyzek is here to help. We are committed to making sure our neighbors live in comfortable, efficient homes through heating oil delivery, heating and cooling repair and installation, and any and all plumbing issues you may have.