Frozen Pipe Prevention in Seattle, WA

Don’t Leave Your Pipes Out in the Cold!

Freezing winters are the norm in Seattle, WA and the surrounding areas. While you’re concerned with buying winter coats and turning up the heating, don’t forget to spare a thought for your plumbing system. Pipes are very susceptible to freezing in the winter, and a frozen pipe could have massive consequences for you and your family. But never fear—Puget Sound Plumbing & Heating is here to help you avoid the inconvenience and cost of broken pipes during the chilliest months. Learn more about frozen pipes, how to prevent them, and how we can help.

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Why Are Frozen Pipes a Problem?

Frozen pipes are just as problematic as frozen doors or icy roads. When water flowing through your pipes gets too cold, it starts to freeze and expand. The expanding ice puts undue pressure on the pipes, causing them to crack and break. Even the sturdiest metal pipes are not impervious to freezing. Broken pipes can mean a lack of water flowing into your home and costly repairs on the horizon.

Preventing Pipes From Freezing in the Winter

Because frozen pipes can cause such a headache during the most festive time of year, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures. After all, prevention is the best medicine! Here are a few strategies that will minimize the risk of your pipes freezing:

Open Cabinets
While it may affect the aesthetic of your kitchen, opening the cabinet doors in your kitchen can go a long way to preventing frozen pipes. Keeping these doors open allows warm air to circulate around the plumbing and melt potential ice. A word of caution—consider moving any harmful chemicals stored below the sink and ensure they’re out of children’s and pets’ reaches.

Close Outside Doors
Make sure your outside doors aren’t leaking air into your home. The garage is especially susceptible to the cold, and you’ll need to make sure the doors stay shut and sealed whenever possible. This is doubly important if water supply lines run through the garage.

Watch the Thermostat
Be consistent about the setting on your thermostat. Many people like to reduce the temperature at night, but the cold months aren’t the best time to focus on energy savings. Keep the thermostat at a consistent temperature throughout the day and night. When it’s time to go out of town for the holidays, resist the urge to turn the temperature down too far. Set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.

Let the Faucet Drip
Another easy way to minimize the risk of frozen pipes is by letting the faucet drip. Turn on the cold water, and allow a trickle of water to escape throughout the day. This practice keeps the water running through the pipes and makes it much more difficult for it to freeze.

Invest in Insulation
Homes should have a hefty amount of insulation in the attic, basement, and crawlspaces. If your home has inadequate insulation, it could increase your chances of frozen pipes. Invest in extra insulation material or hire an expert to seal openings around the windows and other cracks.

Thawing Frozen Pipes Like a Pro

Even the best-laid plans can go awry. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, pipes end up frozen. But don’t panic yet—if you take the proper measures, you can thaw frozen pipes without much trouble. Follow these steps for avoiding a costly pipe break:

  • Turn on the Faucet: To start melting the ice, you’ll need water flowing through the pipes. Slowly turn on the faucet to allow for running water in the frozen areas.
  • Bring the Heat: Use a heating pad, hair dryer, or space heater to apply heat to the frozen pipe. In a pinch, you can also use a towel soaked in hot water. Continue applying heat until the full water pressure is flowing from the faucet. Please note you should never use a blowtorch or other open flame to heat your pipes. This could start a fire and leave you with even more damage.
  • Call in an Expert: Some issues with frozen pipes require the help of a professional. If you’re struggling to find or fix the problem, get in touch with your local plumbers at Puget Sound Plumbing & Heating. We’ll ensure your pipes are safely thawed.

Trust Us for All Your Plumbing Issues

Frozen pipes, leaks, and relining—the team at Puget Sound Plumbing & Heating can do it all! If you’re concerned about frozen pipes or another similar plumbing problem, we’d be glad to help. Over the years, we’ve served countless homeowners in the Seattle area, and our team would be happy to serve you too. Don’t wait for plumbing problems to fix themselves—get in touch with an expert today.

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