What You Should Do If The Jet Pump And Pipes Freeze In A Cubby Hole Underneath Your House

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Record freezing temperatures can blow in at any time in many parts of the United States and catch many homeowners without basements off-guard. Typically, homeowners who don't have a basement will place the pump in a walled in cubby hole underneath the house. Strong winds can carry the cold under the house and freeze the jet pump and the waterlines in the cubby hole. If your jet pump and pipes freeze in a small cubby hole, here is what you shouldn't do and what you should do to get it running again.

What You Shouldn't Do

The first thing you shouldn't do when you notice that the jet pump and pipes are frozen ion the cubby space is to start moving them. The parts on the jet pump are frozen and that makes some parts turn brittle. Especially things like the little tube that runs from the pressure switch to the water line. Just moving this tube can break it, and if you break it, you have to replace it before the pump will run again even after it thaws out. The tube is used to measure the pressure in the water line so the pressure switch knows when to activate the pump to increase the water pressure so you get water all through your house. 

Don't use any fire or heat sources that can lead to a fire.  The last thing you want to do is burn the house down. Instead, you're going to have to be patient for at least a few hours and perhaps for a day or two as you gradually thaw the jet pump and pipes in the cubby hole.

What You Should Do

Turn off the pump and get heat circulating into the cubby hole so you can gradually thaw the jet pump and pipes out. If you have a door in the floor that you have to raise up to expose the cubby hole, you have to make sure the door opening has some type of barrier around it. There's a chance you could fall through the door opening simply because you are used to walking over it while it's closed and now if it's open, you may not be paying as much attention to it as you should. Set a couple of chairs around the opening in the floor so you know to be careful when you walk over toward that area of the floor.

You should use a mica thermic personal space heater that fits into the cubby hole without being near any of the walls or other combustible materials. A mica thermic heater will heat the entire cubby hole all at once instead of just focusing its warmth toward one spot. Set the thermostat to roughly 50-60 degrees so you don't overheat the cubby hole and increase the risk of a fire.

After a few hours, plug in the jet pump and see if it starts to run. If the pipes are still frozen, the pump will hum for a few seconds and shut off. You should try again in a few more hours. When the pump sounds like it's running and increasing the water pressure, you should go and turn a faucet on to see if the water running again. Unplug and remove the heater once you thaw the jet pump and pipes. If the cold is going to continue, keep a faucet partially open to keep water running through it so the pump and pipes won't freeze.

If none of these methods seems to be enough, or if you just feel you need some extra help, contact professionals, such as at Brown's Plumbing, Pumps & Spas

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