Winter Plumbing Tips

Frozen outdoor pipe. D & F talks about winter plumbing tips to help prevent a pipe from rupturing in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Frozen outdoor pipe. D & F talks about winter plumbing tips to help prevent a pipe from rupturing in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Frozen pipes and burst pipes are expensive and stressful to deal with. During cold temperatures, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage, estimating about $5,000 in repairs. Yikes! Save yourself the cost, stress, and damage related to frozen pipes and follow these helpful winter plumbing tips from us instead, before Old Man Winter strikes! You’ll be glad you did.

Insulate Pipes

The pipes most at risk are the ones located in attics, garages, and crawl spaces. However, pipes in cupboards and exterior walls can also freeze. One way to protect the pipes in these vulnerable areas is with pipe insulation. Pipe insulation is affordable, easy to install, and can be found at most hardware stores.

You can also use a heat cable for vulnerable pipes as long as you have an electrical outlet nearby.

Apply Faucet Covers

Whether you call them faucets or sillcocks these outdoor plumbing fixtures can burst from cold air if left unprotected. Drain all of your outside faucets and cover them. You can purchase foam faucet covers from most retailers. After you’ve insulated your outdoor faucets, deactivate them at the shutoff valve.

Winterize Outdoor Drains

Remove foliage and other debris from your gutters, downspouts, and storm drains to ensure all of your exterior drains work properly. This will help prevent flooding during heavy rainfall and snow.

Shut off the Water When Leaving Town

If you’re heading out of town for a few days, you may want to shut off your main water supply. This will help prevent excessive damage if your pipes do freeze and burst while you’re gone.

Keep Your Thermostat Consistent

Although many homeowners tend to lower their thermostats to save money, this plan may actually backfire. Burst pipes cost much more than the money you’d be saving on your energy bill. Instead, we recommend you keep your thermostat settings consistent throughout the day and night. This will keep your home comfortable and keep your pipes free of ice.

Inspect Your Water Heater

You rely on your water heater for showers, laundry, and dishes. The last thing you want is for your water heater to break during a cold snap, so make sure it is running properly and efficiently. Signs you may need water heater maintenance or repairs include rusty water, water leaks, and unusual sounds from your water heater.

Keep Kitchen Drains Clear

This time of year is a common time for holiday gatherings and feasts. Just be sure to properly dispose of food. Don’t pour grease, oils, or fats down your kitchen drain or garbage disposal or you may suffer a drain clog.

Let the grease harden then scrape it in a trash can. If you do experience a kitchen drain clog, don’t use any store-bought products. These are not long-term solutions and can damage your pipes as they carve away at the lining. Instead, contact your local plumber. They have professional-grade equipment like snakes and video inspection tools.

What to do if you have a frozen pipe

If you have a frozen pipe, it’s important to react as quickly as possible before it bursts. Apply warm rags to the pipe. If the pipe is inaccessible, contact your local plumber to thaw it and inspect it for damage.

We hope these tips help you as you work to winterize your plumbing this year. If you have a frozen pipe or burst pipe on your hands, give us a call. We provide emergency plumbing services and affordable financing.

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

How to Prepare Your Home for WinterThe horror stories are true. Freezing temperatures have indeed caused havoc on residential plumbing systems resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in damages. The cost of repairing the pipes and structural parts of the plumbing system, in addition to water damages, in extreme situations can amount to the price of a small home. The potential damage to your home as a result of not winterizing your home cannot be underestimated. These horrendous plumbing emergencies will continue to occur in homes that are not prepared for the cold winter months in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to the over the top expenses associated with busted pipes, more often than not homeowners insurance does not cover these types of damages. It is highly recommended you explore flood insurance options as this is a great way to protect yourself in the case of a plumbing emergency. Furthermore, your insurance premiums are likely to significantly increase due to the structural vulnerabilities that will result from not winterizing your home.

How Cold Weather Affects Your House

Those living in the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA areas need to know the effects of not winterizing your home and they include:

  • Busted Pipes: No exaggeration, there is nothing worse for your plumbing system than busted pipes. When pipes burst they spew water at an uncontrollable rate resulting in immense damages.
  • Cracked Pipes: When pipes start cracking, your plumbing system is in serious trouble. Prevent this from happening by winterizing your plumbing system.
  • Expanded Pipes: When there is water left in your pipes and the water freezes it causes the pipe to expand. Expanded pipes from ice tend to start cracking.
  • Exposure to Raw Sewage: When your plumbing system is failing is it not uncommon for residents to be exposed to raw sewage when excessive flooding occurs.
  • Flooding: The water damage from flooding is the worst headache. Structural water damage brings on an entirely different set of issues and leaves your home extremely vulnerable.
  • Wood Rot: A nasty side effect of water damage, wood rot is expensive to eradicate and tends to spread rapidly.
  • Mold and Mildew Growth: The moisture from flooding will likely result in a hasty production of mold and mildew.
  • Pest Infestations: Anytime there is moisture present, especially in wooden structures, pest infestations are a significant threat. Pests thrive in environments where water damage is present and this can be extremely costly to deal with.

The effects of not winterizing your home are devastating, but you are in luck as there are steps you can take to protect your home’s plumbing from the debilitating freezing temperatures that winter brings. It is important to pay careful attention to the tips on what should and shouldn’t be winterized. Sometimes, despite winterizing your plumbing system, pipes burst. In some cases, when pipes burst in floors or ceilings it may take some time before it is obvious. Pay attention to water pressure, unusual noises from your plumbing system, and any other signs that there may be an issue. If you suspect cracked, defective, faulty, or expanded piping in your residential plumbing system, call a reputable plumber immediately.

10 ways to winterize your home

Get your home ready for winter by winterizing your plumbing

Get your home ready for winter by winterizing your plumbingYour plumbing system becomes extremely vulnerable during the winter season, and as such it is in your best interest to take the time and effort into protecting this invaluable system. Now is the best time for you get your home ready for winter by winterizing your plumbing system. Plumbing winterization is the process of preparing your residential plumbing system for the winter months. More specifically, plumbing winterization is the comprehensive endeavor of securing and insulating your plumbing system in preparation for days when the cold winter temperatures drop below 32 degrees, as this is when defenseless and exposed pipes break down causing plumbing system failure. Protect your home and follow the 10 plumbing winterization tips below:

 

Indoor Plumbing Winterization Tips

  1. Crawlspaces: Locate your crawlspace vents and shut them. Secure the openings of the vents with insulation. If you have moisture issues in your crawlspace you will need to reseal it before securing it shut.
  2. Doors and Windows: Pay careful attention to not let indoor temperatures drop too low. Be diligent in keeping windows, front doors, patio doors, back sliding doors, and garage doors closed- especially on days with freezing temperatures.
  3. Thermostat(s): Do not turn your heating system off in the winter when you are not home. When leaving your home, set the thermostat(s) to 58 degrees minimum.

 

Outdoor Plumbing Winterization Tips

  1. Outdoor Faucets: Turn off the water supply for outdoor faucets. Remove hose(s) from the yard and put away for the winter.
  2. Sprinkler Systems: Disable and drain sprinkler systems. If you have not done this before, you are encouraged to allow professionals to take care of this plumbing winterization task.
  3. Pools and Jacuzzis: Drain and clean out pools and Jacuzzis.
  4. Sump Pump: Now is the perfect time to conduct sump pump maintenance.

 

General Plumbing Winterization Tips

  1. Plumbing System Familiarize: First, you want to educate yourself on your plumbing system. Locate your pipes. Locate your mainline water shut off- this way if a plumbing system emergency were to occur you will know where to turn off the water supply. When turning off the main water supply line, make sure to also turn off plumbing fixtures to get pressure out of the pipes.
  2. Water Heater: Now is the perfect time to conduct water heater maintenance.
  3. Call a Plumbing Professional: There are many things you can do on your own to help protect your plumbing system from the harsh winter cold, however a comprehensive plumbing winterization plan requires the expertise of a plumbing professional.

 

Putting it All Together

Getting your home ready for the winter by winterizing your home is extremely important. Once you have performed the plumbing winterization tips above, the only thing left to do is call a reputable plumbing company to conduct an inspection. During this inspection, you can expect any plumbing system vulnerabilities that you missed to be highlighted and addressed. This is also a great time to ask any questions and schedule additional future plumbing maintenance if needed.  If anything were to happen to your plumbing system, you will wish you took the initiative now- so don’t delay.

 

A Handful of Winterizing Tips

plumbing winterizing-d-f-plumbing-portland-or-beaverton-oregon

plumbing winterizing-d-f-plumbing-portland-or-beaverton-oregonWinter is upon us and if you have not already, now is the time to winterize your home’s plumbing system. The Portland, OR and Beaverton, OR areas experience extremely cold temperatures during the winter season, and your plumbing system could suffer immensely if you neglect to prepare it accordingly. Every winter in the greater Portland area, residents find themselves experiencing plumbing emergencies due to their pipes freezing and breaking.  If your pipes crack, or break, you must call a professional immediately before the damage gets out of hand. Plumbing emergencies are so common in the Pacific Northwest that it could be difficult to find a professional to assist you quickly when you are in a pinch. To help avoid a plumbing emergency in your home this winter, below you will find plumbing winterizing tips to help you protect your home’s plumbing system.Continue reading