ELIZABETHTOWN — With the arctic cold blast and unseasonably cold temperatures, folks are finding themselves faced with the dilemma of how to keep pipes and water pumps from freezing.
Richard “Sling” Shaw, of Home and Industrial in Elizabethtown, said with the recent severe cold snap, they were seeing customers coming in with issues ranging from broken water lines to frozen pumps.
“We’ve seen an increase in water pumps and traditional water pipes freezing,” said Shaw.
He said folks who have vacation homes or rental property that are empty and have no heat in them are especially vulnerable during severe cold spells.
“Insulation of pipes is important,” said Shaw of the cold spell.
He also added that folks who are not on county supplied water systems and rely on wells need to think about how they will keep them warm during extreme cold spells.
“Normally folks will place a tarp over the well and use a lightbulb,” said Shaw.
He said that is a good strategy and generally works well, but what happens once the temperatures rise above freezing? Shaw pointed out the lightbulb will continue to burn until you shut it off. He said at Home and Industrial there is a device called a Thermocube that, once installed, will turn itself on at about 34 degrees and automatically shut itself off when the temperature reaches about 50 degrees.
“You’re not having to burn a lightbulb. The Thermocube only comes on when it is needed,” said Shaw.
He said that, in addition to trying to prevent the well from freezing, folks also have the task of trying to prevent their water pipes from freezing as well.
“The traditional means for keeping pipes from freezing is insulation,” said Shaw.
He added that there is a product called PEX Pipe that is designed to withstand freezing temperatures.
“It is not supposed to freeze or bust like the old hard plastic pipes,” said Shaw.
He said those are just a few of the changes folks can make in their homes to make severe cold spells a little less worrisome.
Shaw also said that folks can winterize their homes by draining excess water from pipes, properly insulating exposed pipes and taking the necessary precautions with their wells.
Shaw said that anyone with questions about ways in which they can prevent frozen pipes or pumps can call Home and Industrial at 910-862-4141.