How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Winter means curling up by the fire and sipping hot chocolate, but before you can enjoy the perks of winter it is important to prepare for the worst. Local Puget Sound plumbing experts recommend taking steps in advance to avoid frozen pipes!
When the temperature drops below freezing (32 F), pipes can freeze. This is most often true for pipes that are exposed to the outside air, in unheated crawlspaces, or under sinks.
Why are Frozen Pipes a problem?
When water freezes, it expands, which means the pipe will expand too. This increase in water pressure will sometimes cause a break or tear in the pipe, causing hundreds of gallons of water to pour out each hour. Water damage is the leading insurance claim made by homeowners each year resulting in billions of dollars in damage!
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare for the winter and prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Let your faucet drip slightly overnight to ensure that the water in the pipe won’t freeze.
- For pipes located in cabinets, open the cabinet doors to allow the room air to circulate. This means the cabinets under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
- Use a small portable heater in and around problematic areas, such as in your crawl space or in cabinets, to keep the pipes warm on cold days.
- Wrapping pipes with electrical heat tape is also a great solution because the tape acts as insulation for the pipes.
- Outside faucets are the most problematic areas. Be sure to disconnect your garden hose, turn off the water to the outside faucet, and consider buying a foam faucet cover to keep the faucet protected from the cold air.
Are Your Pipes Already Frozen? Plumbing emergency?
Call a licensed plumber like Jim Dandy Sewer and Plumbing at 206-429-6844. Our professional and capable team of certified plumbers will diagnose and fix your frozen or burst pipes.