Home & Garden

During Extreme Cold, Keep Water Slowly Flowing to Prevent Pipes From Freezing

24ebabfcda6a5bdd45af_Broken_Frozen_Pipe.jpg
24ebabfcda6a5bdd45af_Broken_Frozen_Pipe.jpg


With extreme cold temperatures in the forecast, that is a ripe wind chill coming which will be severe enough to make your outdoor pipes freeze and cause your pipes, even in an unheated crawl space, to freeze. It is amazing what one burst pipe with street pressure can do. The best way to prevent this catastrophe from happening is to shut off all of the water going to the outside and keep a slow drip of water in any areas above an unheated crawl space so that the water always keeps moving.

Outdoor Water Spigot
If you have a hose bib on the outside of your house (the spigot where you hook up your hose - and make sure you disconnect your hose), then there should be a shutoff valve in your basement right in line with the exterior hose bib. Most of the time, the shutoff valves are usually in the ceiling of the basement. The valve itself will be one of two types:

 
  • Quarter Turn Ball Valve
    The quarter turn ball valve looks like a lever handle for a door. If this is the case in your home, you will turn the lever a quarter turn so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. Make sure to never use a wrench on the lever. Using a wrench can put too much leverage on it and break the stem valve which will make a bad situation even worse. If the lever will not close by hand, be sure to call a plumber to replace it entirely. Once the valve has been turned, this will shut off the line so that no water will be able to go out of the bib if the exterior bib freezes over. 

     
  • Twist Knob Valve
    The valve could also be just a valve with a twist knob which will look like the one on your exterior hose bib spigot. In this case, turn the valve tightly to the right, clockwise, until it stops and the water will be shut off.

Unheated Crawl Space
In many cases, first floor kitchens or bathrooms are built over unheated basement crawl spaces. If you have this type of crawl space, the pipes beneath it can freeze. To prevent this situation from happening, you will need to run one of your sinks in the room over the crawl space. Allow slowly dripping water to flow through the faucet so that it will make it much harder for the water to freeze. The water flow is similar to a flowing river taking longer than a lake to freeze in the same temperatures. Just the smallest movement of water will make the chances of the pipe freezing much lower.

If the room above the crawl space is a bedroom or office, the crawl space itself should not have any pipes in it. Double check, however, because there is always the chance that pipes are there which go to a second floor bathroom, and in that case be sure to slowly drip water from that second floor sink. 

In general, all of this should also be done if you are going away for a winter vacation so that you don't come home to a water emergency and a huge and expensive mess. 

Brad Gosselink has worked in residential carpentry for almost 20 years.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

NJ Governor Signs Executive Order to Fly Flags at Half-Staff to Recognize Parkland Florida Victims

February 20, 2018

New Jersey Governor Phillip D. Murphy signed Executive Order No.1 on Monday ordering the flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of New Jersey to be flown at half-staff to recognize and mourn the passing of the victims in Parkland, FL.

The order is for all state offices, agencies and municipalities, including schools for Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_390a4586af4b60582b01_coffee_with_a_cop_caldwell

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Rock “N” Joe Coffee Bar, Caldwell

Caldwell Coffee With a Cop

Police & Fire

Carousel_image_45b9574cb5a04b8bcbfa_stephen_fuller_photo

Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

West Caldwell Public Library, West Caldwell

Concert with Stephen Fuller Quartet

Arts & Entertainment

Notice of Budget Meeting for Borough of North Caldwell

February 19, 2018

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — The mayor and council of the Borough of North Caldwell will hold a Budget Meeting and Capital Budget Meeting on Tuesday, March 6, at 6 p.m. for discussion on the 2018 Municipal Budget and 2018 Capital Budget.  

This meeting will be held in the Municipal Building, 141 Gould Avenue in North Caldwell.  Action May Be Taken.

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.

 

That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?

 

In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...