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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in N.J.




New Jersey winters can be brutal. In full disclosure we are Contractors serving Residential and Commercial customers in Northern and North Central New Jersey. Each and every year we receive a phone call from one of our customers who has returned from a vacation only to find a disaster in their home. If you’re planning on leaving your New Jersey home for a short period of time during the winter we caution you to do some prep work before you depart….

· Have your heating system checked by a professional contractor before you leave. While this is not a guarantee that you won’t experience a problem, it can bring to your attention an impending situation that could otherwise cause the heat to fail and therefore pipes to freeze.


· Be sure your thermostat is not set below 60 degrees to ensure adequate temperatures are maintained


· If you have pipes that are run in exterior walls in your kitchen or bathroom, leave the vanity or cabinet doors open so that the warmer room air can circulate around them. Be mindful of pets in the event that you store chemicals in these cabinets.


· Turn on a faucet on the upper level of your home so that it drips slightly to prevent the still water from freezing and bursting. If you keep the water flow small you will ensure that water circulates through the pipes that may run through colder spots in your home.


· Arrange for a family member or friend to stop by and check your home to be sure the heat has not failed. Be sure this individual knows the location of the main water shutoff valve.


· Check the water meter to be sure it’s running. This will alert you to the possibility of a frozen pipe. A frozen pipe today becomes a burst pipe tomorrow. No one wants to return to an indoor winter wonderland of icicles.


· If you’re going to be away for a very long period of time, you may wish to turn off the water to your home at the main shutoff valve. This may not necessarily prevent a frozen pipe but it will minimize water damage.


As a permanent measure you may wish to add low temperature sensors if you have a central station alarm system. These sensors should be located throughout your home.