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Friday, December 15 2023
How to Protect Your Plumbing in the Cooler Seasons

Here at Barner Murphy, we know that protecting your plumbing during colder seasons is crucial to prevent freezing and potential damage. There are some simple steps to help alleviate this possibility:

  • Insulate any exposed pipes in unheated areas, such as basements, crawl spaces, or attics. You can use pipe insulation sleeves or wrap the pipes with heat tape to provide an extra layer of protection against freezing temperatures.

  • Seal air leaks: Inspect your home for any air leaks near pipes and seal them. Use caulk or insulation and fill gaps or cracks in walls, windows, or doors where cold air may enter and come into contact with your plumbing.

  • Ensure that your home's heating system is in good working condition. Before the start of the season, have the professionals at Barner Murphy check your furnace.

  • Keep your thermostat set to a consistent temperature to prevent freezing. If you are away from home, set the temperature at no lower than 55 degrees F.

  • Allow for faucet drip: On extremely cold nights, let a faucet near exterior walls drip slowly. This allows a constant flow of water, reducing the risk of freezing.

  • Disconnect outdoor hoses: Before the frost sets in, disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses. Close the outdoor water valves and store the hoses indoors. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure to drain it properly.

  • Consider pipe insulation: For extreme cold climates, consider using foam pipe insulation or heating cables on vulnerable pipes. These can be useful for pipes in garages or other unheated areas.

  • Open cabinet doors: To allow warm air to circulate around pipes under sinks, open cabinet doors during colder periods. 

  • Protect outdoor faucets: Install freeze-proof outdoor faucets or use insulated faucet covers. 

  • Winterize vacant properties: If you have a vacant property during the winter, ensure that the plumbing system is properly winterized. Drain all the water from the pipes and consider adding antifreeze to prevent frozen pipes.

  • Educate household members: Make sure everyone in your household knows how to shut off the main water supply in case of an emergency. This can minimize potential damage if a pipe does freeze and burst.

Signs of a Frozen Pipe

Even the best efforts to protect your plumbing in colder seasons may not work. Frozen pipes can significantly damage a home, so you want to catch the problem as soon as possible. Take Note if you’re having trouble in any of these areas, make a list. Then, call on Barner Murphy’s master plumbers for remediation. 

  • No water flow: One of the first signs of a frozen pipe is a lack of water flow from faucets or fixtures. If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle or no water comes out, it could be a sign that the pipe leading to that fixture is frozen.

  • Uneven water temperature: If you notice that the water coming out of your faucets is significantly colder than usual, it may be because of a frozen pipe or one that is beginning to freeze. Pay attention to any sudden drops in water temperature throughout your plumbing system.

  • Frost on visible pipes: Inspect any exposed pipes in unheated areas, such as basements, crawl spaces, or garages. If you see frost or ice accumulation on the pipes, it is likely a sign of freezing.

  • Strange odors: Frozen pipes can sometimes cause strange odors to occur, such as a sewage-like smell. 

  • Strange noises: If you hear peculiar noises, such as banging, clanking, or cracking sounds coming from your plumbing system, it could be a sign of a frozen pipe expanding or contracting.

  • Water leaks after thawing: When a frozen pipe begins to thaw, it may leak from the affected area. Look out for signs of water damage, such as water stains on ceilings or walls.

If you suspect a frozen pipe, it is important to take immediate action to prevent further damage. Turn off the main water supply to your home, and apply gentle heat to the frozen section using a hairdryer or heating pad. These are make-shift fixes until you have a plumber on site. We provide quality work and guarantee the results. If something needs to be replaced, Barner Murphy has selected excellent products we use regularly. Call us at 215-945-8650 or use our online contact form for more information.

Posted by: AT 04:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Barner Murphy Inc. - Bucks County - Plumbing
7204 Hibbs Lane, Levittown, PA 19057 | Phone - 215-945-8560

Licensed Master Plumbers
PA HIC #035743 NJ #10388 RCC LIC # 413

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