Two plumbing maintenance measures can help to stave off freezing pipes and resultant plumbing pipe ruptures
- Stopping heat loss from the water inside the pipes
- Allowing for expansion inside a pipe in the event ice crystals do form
Even on very cold nights, the municipal water entering your household supply lines is cold enough to freeze. That’s because municipal water lines and the main supply line to your house are generally buried below the frost line, where latent heat energy in the ground keeps water in the pipes above freezing. When the supply pipe comes to the surface and enters your home, however, heat in the water dissipates into the colder air, and freezing may occur.
Here are some ways to reduce heat loss from pipes:
- Just as it helps prevent heat loss from your home insulation can keep your pipes from losing those last few degrees of heat energy. Exposed pipes both cold water and hot water in areas like a crawl space, basement, or attic can be covered with foam pipe insulation sleeves or wrapped with pipe insulation tape. Electrical heat tape can be applied to short spans of pipe in areas that may be particularly prone to freezing.
- Warm air circulating throughout the home during very cold weather also benefits plumbing below floors and inside walls that may be susceptible to freezing. Maintain interior temperatures of at least 55 degrees, and open cabinets under sinks and close to exterior walls to transmit household heat to the pipes.
- Vents that admit outdoor air to the crawl space should be shut. This allows heat in the living space to get into the crawl space and provide some protection against freezing in any pipes routed through that zone. Also, keep the exterior garage door closed if any plumbing is installed there.
- It’s long been known that opening faucets in the house just enough to emit a trickle of water and leaving them running during any period when temperatures drop below the pipe-freezing threshold is an effective way to prevent damage to pipes. But it’s not the small movement of water through the pipes that prevent freezing, after all, even rapidly moving water freezes in streams and waterfalls. The fact is, frozen pipes don’t rupture because of the force of ice expanding outward. Instead, ice forming in the pipe expands laterally and pressurizes water trapped in the pipe between the site of the ice formation and a closed faucet or another outlet. This over-pressurized water is the force that actually ruptures the pipe. Opening faucets slightly throughout the house and allowing them to dribble provides pressure relief and fends off pipe damage.
- Green Apple Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-611-7191