Protecting Your Pipes From the Cold

There is plenty advice out there for winterizing a home that will be vacant. But what about the house we’re living in, when the temperature drops significantly? If you’ve ever experienced a burst pipe, you know it is one of the most costly damages that can occur. There are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of frozen, burst pipes.

Preparing Garden Spigots for Winter:

Before the cold arrives, you should be removing, draining, and storing all of your garden hoses. The inside valves (bibs) that feed your garden spigot should be closed, and the outside hose bibs should be open to allow any water in the line to drain out. Keep the outside valve open.

Preparing Poorly Insulated or Non-insulated Pipes for the Cold:

Pipes that run along outside of the home or are in colder places such as the garage or along an exterior wall that isn’t well insulated can be fitted with a “pipe sleeve” to help insulate them from the cold. Building supply stores carry these in a number of sizes. If there is an extreme dip in temperature, the pipes under your sink on an exterior wall may be especially prone to freezing.

You can keep the thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees and keep a slow drip in your faucet to prevent freezing. If these efforts have failed in the past, you may want to keep your cabinet doors open, and place an old pillow between the pipes and the wall, in lieu of pipe sleeves.

Leaving home during the winter

If you do have to leave home during the winter, do not shut off the heat. Keep the thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees, and open the cabinets to allow the warm air to reach the pipes under sinks.

Preparing for the Worst Case Scenario

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, pipes can freeze. An unanticipated power outage or heating fuel shortage can result in no method to heat your home. If your pipes do freeze or burst, you will want to know exactly where the main water valve is in your home in case you need to shut it off.

replace old plumbing

Is it Time for Your Old Plumbing to be Replaced?

As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The age of your pipes is a factor in their eventual failing, but performance is everything. Each home has a different water supply. A home with more acidic water may wear out your pipes much faster than a home fed by a clean natural spring nearby.

Signs Your Pipes are Failing:

·         Your water has an odor

Your water supply should never smell. Most of the time, any odor coming from your pipes is indicative of bacteria growth. When pipes begin to scale, bacteria can start to gather and fester. This is a good sign a section of your plumbing may need to be replaced. A less common cause of odor is methane in the water supply. Methane is flammable and is not a welcome guest in any pipe system. Lastly is chlorine. If you smell chlorine, it’s not a sign that your pipes are failing, but it may be a motivating factor for improving your water conditioning system. Chlorine is actually recommended by the EPA to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease, but too much of is generally unpleasant.

o   If your water has an odor, you should have your water tested by a plumber. Contact Jersey Plumbing services today for a quick and easy water test. (908) 281-7101

·         Cloudy or colored water

Dark water is an indication of corrosion in your pipes. As your pipes rust, the particles will be swept into the water supply, resulting in tinted water. Pipes with corrosion problems are more likely to clog, which can result in a burst pipe.

Cloudy water is almost always a result of air bubbles, which is not a problem. Occasionally, cloudy water is from mineral or sediment deposits. Water with a lot of sediment is more prone to clogging your pipes. In rare cases, cloudy water can be a sign of methane gas, which may or may not have an odor.

o   If your water is discolored, you should have your water tested by a plumber. Contact Jersey Plumbing services today for a quick and easy water test. (908) 281-7101

·         Water Stains or a Musty Smell

When your pipes start to leak behind the walls or in the ceilings, it may not become apparent until there are brown water stains on your walls/ceilings or a musty smell in any room of the house. When something smells “musty” what you actually smell are the waste products of mold. (Essentially, you smell mold farts.) Mold grows only in moist areas, so if you smell their byproduct, or see signs of mold on your walls/ceilings/floors, there’s a good chance you have a leak somewhere.

o   If your notice any of these, you will want to get a plumber immediately. Water damage gets more expensive to repair for every minute that it’s left to sit and seep into your home. Contact Jersey Plumbing Service at (908) 281-7101



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Would you like to have your pipes professionally assessed? Contact Jersey Plumbing Service Today!

Jersey Plumbing Service
PO Box 7371
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
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Fax: 1-908-647-1517

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