Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter

 

Our weather in the Northwest can wreak havoc on our homes and water pipes. The last thing you want to invite into your home for the holidays is a plumbing emergency. Take these steps to prevent a costly frozen pipe disaster. 

Outdoor plumbing tips

• Close all foundation vents and fill the vents with styrofoam blocks or wood to prevent cold wind from reaching unprotected pipes. 

• Disconnect garden hoses and be sure to drain all in-ground irrigation systems. 

• Cover outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation. Use molded foam insulation covers, newspaper, or rags and wrap in plastic. 

Indoor plumbing protection

• Check your attic, crawl space, basement and other non-heated areas to insulate and protect. 

• Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and in your bathrooms to allow plumbing to gain more heat from your home. 

• If you’re planning on heading out of town, put your furnace on a low setting to help prevent freezing pipes by keeping the temperature of the home slightly elevated. 

• When temperatures drop below freezing, use a slow drip of cold water to keep your faucet from freezing. 

What to do if pipes freeze

When a pipe freezes it can cause a buildup of pressure inside the pipe, causing it to burst and leak. Safely thaw plumbing lines with a carefully monitored heat lamp, hot wash cloth, or common hair dryer. When thawed, leave a small amount of water dripping to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

What to do if pipes break

• Shut off the main water line to prevent additional water from damaging your home. Open the faucets to relieve any remaining pressure.

• Turn off the water heater and shut-off the valve on the cold-water inlet. 

• If there is any water damage to the area, be sure to clean quickly to prevent mold. 

• Call a professional plumber to repair the issue.

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