How to Make Sure Your Pipes Survive the Polar Vortex

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frozen-piplineFrozen pipes are dangerous for homeowners. Extremely cold weather makes your plumbing vulnerable and if your heating system fails during cold temperatures, your pipes could freeze and burst. If this happens, it is extremely expensive to repair and you are left without running water until the plumbing is fixed.

An additional hazard with burst pipes is water damage. If flooding occurs, the water damage can be the biggest cost involved with burst pipes. It depends on your particular policy, but many homeowners’ insurance policies will not cover the cost of repairing a burst pipe, although they may cover the cost of repairing damage from flooding. Fixing the damage from a burst pipe can be expensive and rises if the work is done on an emergency basis. According to statistics on CostHelper.com, you could incur the following average costs if your pipes burst in the winter:

  • Water Damage: State Farm Insurance estimates that the average claim for water damage is $15,000, with most claims ranging from $5,000-70,000.
  • Pipe Repair:
    • Accessible pipes:
      • Non-emergency basis: $50-250
      • Emergency basis: $300-600
  • Non-accessible pipes: $400-1,500
  • Pipe Replacement: $2,000-15,000 (copper pipes, based on average 1,500 square foot home)

If pipes aren’t protected in the right ways, they can freeze whenever the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting.

  • Keep your home at a minimum of 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If leaving for an extended period of time:
    • Turn off the main water
    • Turn the water heater temperature down, to the lowest position
    • Open a couple hot and cold faucets that are higher than the hot water heater tank.
    • Keep drain traps from freezing by pouring antifreeze into them
    • When at home:
      • Leave water running, just a drip will be enough to prevent freezing pipes
      • Reduce energy costs if you have to leave water running by turning the hot water heater off at night.
      • Open a small space in the wall so that heat can get to vulnerable pipes.  Cover the opening with a vent and only open it during cold temperatures.
      • Cover exposed pipes with insulation that you can purchase from a local hardware store.

Why Choose Us?

  • plumbing-servicesFor over 31 years, we have served residential and commercial customers in Middlesex County, Somerset County and Union County.
  • We specialize in all aspects of plumbing, heating, air conditioning repair, installation and service, remodeling for kitchens and baths and provide serve you as the best 24 hour emergency plumber.
  • Our goal is to provide unsurpassed service and quality workmanship and we treat every customer like a member of the family.
  • Our plumbers are highly trained and experienced technicians with extensive knowledge of heating, air conditioning, water heaters and remodeling and we are licensed plumbers in South Plainfield NJ.
  • Our clean and courteous technicians arrive at your home or business in our fully stocked service vehicles with the equipment and supplies needed to handle all your projects and get the job done fast.
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If your pipe freezes, you must take caution to thaw them slowly so that they do not burst. If you need assistance or have questions, call your local plumber. The experts at RupCoe Plumbing & Heating Inc. can help you thaw frozen pipes or implement precautions to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Call them at (908) 226-1616. You can also find them online at http://www.rupcoeplumbing.com.
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