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Is Damage from Frozen Pipes Preventable?

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 at 11:00 am

A burst pipe - what you want to avoid this winter

A burst pipe – what you want to avoid this winter

If weather events such as Winter Storm Kori are any indication, winter time can pack quite the serious punch in Washington State. Of all the home components to protect and prepare for weather such as this, your DuPont, WA plumbing system should rank high on your list. The reason: the expansion of water as it transforms to ice puts a high amount of pressure on whatever is containing it—even if that is your metal or plastic pipes.

No matter how strong your plumbing system is—even if you’ve just recently had a brand new system installed—expanding water can cause the pipes to break. The pipes most susceptible to this damage include outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, garages, and even behind or under kitchen cabinets.

Stopping Pipe Freezing Before It Starts

Unfortunately, if your plumbing system falls victim to frozen pipes, you are very likely going to be facing burst pipes as a result, and perhaps even flooding due to water leakage. The best way to tackle frozen pipes is to stop the issue before it even has a chance to start. But what are the right steps to do so?

  • Drain your swimming pool. Pull out your manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. If they instruct you to put antifreeze in your swimming pool lines, then you may do so. If you aren’t instructed to do so, however, skip this step as antifreeze is environmentally harmful and can be dangerous to you and your family, in addition to pets and wildlife. The best thing to do is drain your swimming pool and its lines so that there is no water left to freeze.
  • Remove and drain outdoor hoses. Start by opening the outside hose bibs to allow all the water to drain, and then close the inside valves that supply water to the outside bibs. Be sure to keep the outside valve open so any water that remains in the pipe has room to expand without causing damage. Also, store your hoses indoors throughout the winter season.
  • Search for unheated water supply lines. It’s a wise idea to take a look around your home for any unheated areas that may house water supply lines. Check under your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, including both hot and cold water pipes, and look to your garage, basement, attic, or crawlspace. Wherever piping is exposed to chillier temperatures, make sure it’s properly insulated.
  • Insulate Your Pipes. There are specific pipe sleeves you can purchase for your plumbing system, in addition to UL-listed heat tape to help insulate your pipes against potentially harmful freezing weather. If you need something on the fly, however, towels will do as a momentary solution. In fact, even ¼ inch of newspaper can provide significant protection in unheated areas.

Contact Brooks Plumbing Co. today for superior plumbing repairs, maintenance, and installation. We have over 20 years of experience providing exceptional plumbing services throughout the community!

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