Tips to protect pipes as freeze comes

Farmer readies crops, animals for freeze

Author: Hailey Winslow, General assignment reporter, hwinslow@wjxt.com
Christopher Yazbec, News editor, News4Jax.com, cyazbec@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 06 2014 02:26:05 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 07 2014 10:16:59 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

As temperatures dip into the teens, it's important to protect your pipes, especially those that are exposed outside.

Mike Fenwick, of Bill Fenwick Plumbing, says residents should insulate their pipes and keep a little water running.

"Just the size of a pencil stream on a couple faucets just to keep the water moving so it really can't move or get frozen while it's at the sublevel temperatures," Fenwick said.

Those who live on the water should take extra precaution.

"Anywhere there's a lot of wind that can get under, people living on the water, and wind's coming through the water, any exposed piping along the sides of the houses or the eves should be insulated and kind of covered," Fenwick said.

"If you have a well, most of the water drops below that level, so those should be fine," Channel 4 meteorologist Richard Nunn said. "Not only that, the ground isn't going to freeze, so your sprinklers should be fine as well. Pool pumps, it's a good idea on really cold nights to go ahead and let those run all night long and then shut them off when we get above freezing for tomorrow so you don't freeze the water inside of the impeller unit and have any kind of damage if the pump was to kick on. If it's on a timer and that thing is already frozen, once it kicks in that could burn the pump."

Fixing frozen pipes can also become very costly.

"If you do a little bit of preventative maintenance it can save you a lot of money," Fenwick said.

Farmers are taking measures to protect their animals and crops. At NaVera Farms in Nassau County, the farmer and his helpers checked the entire area Monday, putting tarps over their cabbage and lettuce and making sure the 240 animals there are safe.

"It's a lot of work. It's a lot of focus and paying attention," said farmer Bill DiStanisloa. "The animals will tell you what they need."

On his 15-acre holistic, organic farm, DiStanisloa is making sure his goats, cows and chickens are extra protected and that each animal house is powered with a heat lamp or a heater, especially the open-air houses, which will also be shielded with heavy duty plastic.

To make sure his equine animals are not lying on a damp, cold ground, his four-member team will be packing it with dry dirt just before sunset.

They're methods he says are essential.

"The misperception is that we have an animal race and we have a human race," DiStanisloa said. "Here at NaVera farms we teach that they are at the same level."