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How to Winterize House Plumbing & Prevent Repairs for Your New Jersey Home

March 4, 2023

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Learning how to winterize house plumbing in New Jersey can help prevent unnecessary repair costs. Preventing frozen pipes reduces the risk of them bursting and then flooding your home. Replacing those pipes, along with flood and mold cleanup costs, can run into hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

With this in mind, check out some tips on how to prepare your home’s plumbing for cold winter weather. Also, never hesitate to ask a New Jersey plumber for more advice on regular maintenance and needed fixes. They can ensure quality repairs for damaged or corroded fixtures and other plumbing issues on your property.

completed plumbing installation

How to Winterize House Plumbing in New Jersey

There are two considerations when it comes to winterizing your home’s plumbing. One, you’ll want to keep pipes insulated while you’re still home. Two, property owners should keep water out of pipes for vacant houses. This second option works for snowbirds, unoccupied rental homes, unsold new construction, and the like.

How to winterize plumbing in a vacant home

In vacant homes, your best choice for winterizing your house plumbing is to drain out all water. To do this, start by shutting off the home’s main valve. You’ll find this valve where water enters the home, usually in a basement or crawl space.

Next, adjust the water heater thermostat to the lowest setting, but don’t shut it off. Turning off the water heater can allow water in the tank to freeze. Then, flush all the toilets in the home twice, to remove water from the tank and bowl.

Your next step is to pour a few tablespoons of antifreeze into all the home’s drains. This includes the kitchen and bathroom sinks and all tubs and showers. Lastly, open all your home’s kitchen and cabinet doors. Doing this allows warmer air in the room to circulate around plumbing pipes, preventing freezing.

How to winterize a house plumbing

Tips for insulating pipes if you’re home during the winter

If you’ll be home during winter months, of course, you don’t want to shut off the water! Instead, you’ll need to insulate pipes and prevent them from freezing. First, wrap exposed pipes and the water heater with insulating foam or blanketing, available from any home improvement store.

Second, keep water dripping from at least one tap during the coldest weather. This forces water to move continuously through pipes, which helps prevent freezing. Also, keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open. This helps circulate warm air around those pipes, as mentioned above.

Additionally, if the home has an attached garage, keep that door closed during winter months! A closed garage door helps insulate the home’s interior against outside weather. On the other hand, opening blinds and drapes lets in sunlight which can help keep a home warm. Take a moment to open as many window treatments as safely possible before heading off to work each day.

Lastly, keep the home somewhat warm even when out for the day. You can turn the thermostat down but don’t switch it off entirely. Failing to heat the home at least slightly can encourage freezing pipes and resultant bursts and floods.

kitchen with pipes under the sink

Will My Pipes Freeze If I Have No Heat?

Pipes freeze if the water inside of them reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit or zero degrees Celsius. In turn, not having heat in the house certainly does increase the risk of frozen pipes, as said! However, not having heat doesn’t guarantee frozen or burst pipes. For instance, insulated pipes and a home’s overall insulation protect water against freezing.

Also, lots of outside sunlight can mean warmer rooms inside, even without added heating. Homeowners might also forget that body heat adds to a room’s temperature overall! Lots of family members and pets can then mean just enough heat to prevent frozen pipes. Lastly, keeping a tap running can also prevent water from freezing.

That being said, don’t assume you can shut off your home’s heat during winter months. The cost of cleanup after a burst pipe is typically far more expensive than heating your home! Additionally, you don’t need to keep rooms overly warm to prevent freezing. Turn the thermostat down to the 60s or 50s if you must save money but avoid turning it off.

The team here at Alliance Service Pros hopes that we’ve helped explain how to winterize house plumbing in New Jersey. Hopefully, these tips will protect your home this winter! Also, if you’re in Camden, Burlington, or Mercer County, call our expert plumbing repair contractors. We offer top-notch plumbing fixes and installation for residential and commercial properties. To find out more or to get your property started on the service it needs to have done, call today!

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