THE DANGER ZONE: WHEN AND WHY PIPES FREEZE

Especially in places that typically see cold winter weather, like New Jersey, well-constructed modern homes are built to protect pipes against freezing. In older homes, however, or during unusually cold temperatures, pipes that are most at risk of freezing are

  • Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home,
  • Pipes located in exterior walls, and
  • Any plumbing on the exterior of the home.

Exposed pipes in the basement are usually warm enough that they aren’t in danger of freezing. But exposed plumbing in areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and garages may be at risk. Tests of residential water systems showed that for uninsulated pipes installed in an unheated attic, freezing began when the outside temperature fell to 20° F or below. Surprisingly, both hot and cold pipes can be at risk. As water freezes, it expands and can increase the pressure in your plumbing system; too much pressure can cause pipes to burst or crack.

Many homeowners don’t take appropriate precautions to protect plumbing that is connected to the outside of the home, such as outdoor kitchen plumbing, exterior spigots, or even a garden hose. Water expanding in a frozen garden hose can increase pressure throughout your home’s plumbing enough to burst an interior pipe.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or Plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

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