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Serving the Olympia, WA area since 1994



How to Avoid Frozen Pipes this Winter

Monday, October 16th, 2017 at 11:00 am

hand gripping pipe under sinkWhile it may not get as bitterly cold in our area as it does in other parts of the country, frozen pipes are still unfortunately a fairly common occurrence during the winter. And, they can cause a fair amount of damage if they are not dealt with. The reason for this is because as water in the pipes freezes, it expands and places pressure on the linings of the pipes.

As a result, you could find yourself with cracked or burst plumbing. To protect your pipes from freezing in the first place, there are a few steps you can take. Keep reading to learn more, and if you discover any problems with your plumbing this fall or winter, contact a professional plumber in Tumwater, WA, such as one of the members of our team.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

The first thing you’ll want to do in order to avoid frozen pipes is open your outdoor faucets. Naturally, the pipes most vulnerable to freezing are the ones outside your home. If you have outdoor faucets that you use for sprinklers or hoses, be sure to turn off water flow to these points.

Then open the faucets to drain any leftover water, and leave them open. You may even consider insulated caps for your hose and faucet openings. Once you’ve done this, we recommend the following steps:

Disconnect Hoses: Disconnect any hoses that you use outside during the warmer parts of the year, before temperatures drop too low. Be sure to let them drain before storing them anywhere.

Insulate Your Pipes: There are a number of pipes throughout your household that may be sensitive to freezing temperatures, but that you have to keep using in the winter. In other words, these are attached to faucets that you can’t just open and shut off the water supply—such as under-sink pipes, pipes in crawlspaces, or pipes in your basement.

To protect this part of your plumbing system from freezing, the simplest thing you can do is to get some pipe insulating sleeves from your nearest hardware store. This helps keep the temperature of the water in your pipes from dropping too low. You may be able to accomplish this with towels, if you’d rather go this route.

Keep Your Cabinets Open: You might be wondering why we’d offer this type of advice, but bear with us. Plumbing fixtures in your bathrooms or kitchen are typically going to be under sinks, and/or run behind the walls that lead outside. That means that these pipes are susceptible to freezing. However, if you leave your cabinets where these pipes are open, then the warmth from your heating system can reach them, making them less likely to freeze.

What If My Pipes Freeze Anyway?

You might take all of the proper precautions, but end up with frozen pipes anyway. If this occurs, it’s first very important that you contact the pros to manage the problem. Attempting to unfreeze your pipes yourself can cause more harm than good. Plus, it can cause injury—pipes can burst as they are thawing, due to the pressure buildup in the rest of the pipe.

For more plumbing tips and professional plumbing services, reach out to Brooks Plumbing Co. today!

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