How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

January 23rd, 2023


Why pipes freeze.

It’s the thick of winter in Pitman, Mickleton, Glassboro, Dorothy, and many other communities in southern New Jersey. And while the cold weather brings many welcome activities — from snow angels to piping hot cocoa — it also has its share of headaches.

One wintertime danger for the households we service is the freezing pipes. Our knowledgeable, skilled team members at Woodruff Energy can handle just about any plumbing emergency. While we’re always available to repair an icy or burst pipe, we want to make sure you know how to prevent your plumbing from freezing in the first place. Knowing a few simple fixes means fewer unexpected expenses for you and fewer last-minute repair jobs for us.

During sustained cold periods, the water in your home’s plumbing can turn to ice. This is especially common for pipes in exterior walls or exposed pipes in basements, attics, crawl spaces and other unheated areas.

When water turns to ice, it can expand by approximately 9 percent. This can cause enough pressure to make your pipe burst. The results aren’t pretty and can include water damage, ruined wiring, mold and mildew.

Avoiding frozen and burst pipes

Luckily, freezing and burst pipes can be easily avoided with little foresight. Here are a few ways to keep ice out of your plumbing.

1. Never turn your heat all the way off.

It might be tempting to save money by turning off your furnace or boiler while you’re on vacation. But if a cold snap happens while you’re gone, an unheated home can lead to burst pipes.

Instead, set your thermostat to 55 degrees, which will be sufficient to stop the water in your pipes from turning to ice. You should also make sure you have sufficient heating oil or propane in your tank before leaving.

2. Insulate your home — and your pipes.

You can prevent frigid air from getting to your pipes by sealing air leaks with insulation or caulking. Insulate any exposed pipes with foam, heat tape or heating cable for added security.

Also, consider opening any cabinets with pipes in them (like the cabinet under your kitchen sink) so the plumbing receives the full benefit of your home’s heating.

Don’t let water sit in cold pipes.

There are two ways to prevent water from sitting in your pipes.

  • First, remove water from exterior pipes by closing their valves and bleeding off any remaining water.
  • If you’re leaving your home for a while, try opening a trickle of water from your faucets.

Woodruff Energy is your plumbing services provider

No one likes to return home to find that a burst pipe has caused flooding and other damage. But if you need a sudden pipe repair — or any other plumbing service — then Woodruff Energy is here to help. In addition to world-class fueling and HVAC services, we are a full-service plumbing provider available 24 hours a day for emergency calls.

From clogged drains and leaky pipes to complete bathroom remodeling, Woodruff Energy is here for your plumbing needs. Contact us today for service.