How to Prepare Your Water Heater for Winter

Person adjusting the settings on their water heater tank

Person adjusting the settings on their water heater tankBetween freezing weather and holiday festivities, the winter months can take a serious toll on your water heater. To ensure you have plenty of hot water all throughout the cold season, it’s important to prepare your water heater for winter as soon as temperatures begin to drop. Fortunately, seasonal maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here are the top ways to get your water heater ready for winter weather:

Flush the Tank

Professionals recommend that homeowners flush their water heaters at least once per year to clear out any sediment that is building up inside of the tank. Since your water heater has to work harder in the winter to maintain warm temperatures, fall is the best time of year to empty and clean out your tank. To flush your water heater, follow these general steps:

  • Turn off the power source
  • Give the tank time to cool down
  • Close the water supply valve
  • Attach a hose to the drain valve
  • Open the drain valve and drain the water
  • Test the water quality for signs of sediment
  • Close the drain valve and refill the tank

If you aren’t sure how to flush your tank or have questions about the process, reach out to the experts at D & F Plumbing! Our licensed team has years of experience working on a variety of water heater types, so they can make the process quick and easy. 

Insulate Pipes

Insulating exposed pipes near your water heater helps increase efficiency and keeps your hot water from freezing during cold spells. You may also want to consider insulating pipes in areas that are particularly drafty or cold, such as basements and attics. This will help keep them warm and prevent potential burst pipe damage due to freezing temperatures.

Lower the Temperature

Cold weather places a lot of strain on your water heater by making it difficult to retain thermal energy. To keep your unit from working in overdrive, we recommend dialing back the heat just a little bit during the winter. If you normally keep your unit at 140 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, consider lowering the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so will not only prevent malfunctions, but it will also lower your utility bills significantly by reducing heat loss through the tank.

Check for Leaks or Corrosion

Leaking and corrosion are surefire signs that your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced. Look near your unit for puddles of water, dripping, or other moisture problems. Also, it’s prudent to pull out the anode rod to check for corrosion. If you notice any damage, contact a licensed plumber to inspect the water heater.

Schedule a Professional Inspection

If you want peace of mind knowing that your water heater is in great shape for the winter, schedule a professional maintenance service! At D & F Plumbing, our licensed experts are committed to providing you with excellent service and durable results. We are very familiar with common water heater problems, so we will provide you with recommendations on how to keep your unit functioning perfectly long-term. For a free estimate, get in touch with us today!

Brown Friday: Why Plumbers Are So Busy After Thanksgiving

Plumber holding a toilet plunger

Plumber holding a toilet plungerEveryone looks forward to Black Friday shopping deals. But plumbers have an entirely different experience on the Friday after Thanksgiving!

Our experienced D and F Plumbing team knows better than to make big shopping plans on “Brown Friday” because we’re sure to be busy. Today, we will talk about common plumbing emergencies that happen on this notorious day. Enjoy!

Big Family Gatherings Put Extra Pressure on Your Plumbing

All year long, your Grandma’s plumbing has the “duty” of disposing of gray water, waste and solids for one or two people. (See what we did there?) Slightly clogged drains and plumbing don’t act up, and no one suspects a problem. Maybe Grandma only runs the dishwasher a few times a week, and she has a small appetite.

Everything seems fine! The toilet flushes and the sinks and showers drain normally. All is well at Grandma’s house.

Then, after a magical day of cooking for 20 family members, feasting, cleaning and overindulgence, the added strain is suddenly too much. Toilets back up, sinks get clogged, and Grandma doesn’t know what to do.

Grandma needs to call a plumber.

Grandma, You’re Not Alone

The day after Turkey Day is almost always our busiest day of the year. We don’t make plans to watch the Macy’s Christmas Parade or stampede the local Walmart for cheap electronics.

Like the professional football players on TV on Thanksgiving Day, we’ve been training for this all year long. Brown Friday is our time to shine!

What Causes Plumbing Problems on Brown Friday?

Every household is unique, and every plumbing job has challenges. On Brown Friday, we usually find ourselves dealing with:

  • Clogged toilets and pipes because someone flushed feminine products, diapers, wipes and the like.
  • Sink problems and garbage disposal issues caused by turkey bones or tin foil in the system.
  • Bathroom drain issues that went unnoticed until five extra guests spent the weekend.
  • Guest bathroom issues that no one noticed because the room hasn’t been used much since last year.

If you’re like Grandma and need emergency plumbing services on a holiday, contact the “Plumbers in Plaid.” We’ve been training hard for this all year and are ready to serve the entire Portland Metro area.

Your next question is, “How can I prevent Brown Friday emergencies?” Let’s find out.

How to Prevent Holiday Plumbing Problems

Grandma has an old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And, as usual, she’s not wrong!

During the pre-holiday scramble, be aware of your water use. You may wash more laundry — think drapes and guest bedding — and run the dishwasher more often after making all those pumpkin pies. Keep an eye on your drains, and call a licensed journeyman plumber if you notice any slowness. Sometimes a quick “snake” can solve problems before they happen.

If you have a guest bathroom that’s rarely used, take it for a test drive! Spend some quality time there before Turkey Day. (You can even use the little fancy guest soaps and embroidered towels. We won’t tell.) Instead of fleeing your personal aromas immediately, stick around to ensure everything drains and flushes quickly and quietly.

Warning Signs

The best way to prevent Brown Friday mishaps is to maintain your plumbing before the holidays. Watch out for these warning signs:

  • Toilets that need plunging often, even when you’re not flushing a #2.
  • The kitchen sinks drain slowly.
  • The dishwasher backs up into the kitchen sink.
  • Any water backs up into your bathtub or shower.
  • Gurgling sounds are coming from a faucet.
  • Poor water pressure.
  • Unusually high water bills.
  • Any wetness in your basement or a puddle around your sump pump.

Hopefully, your Thanksgiving weekend will go off without a hitch. But emergencies don’t always happen during regular business hours. And if you need emergency plumbing on a holiday weekend, you can count on the team at D and F Plumbing. We’ve been training for this all year.

Fall Plumbing Tips

A rainstorm soaks the roof of a house and a tree

A rainstorm soaks the roof of a house and a tree

Vibrant colored leaves, pumpkin spiced everything, and oddly early Christmas decorations in stores. Yep, it’s fall alright- and while we can’t wait to down our apple cider and dig in to some pumpkin pie, we also can’t forget that a new season brings new challenges to our home’s plumbing. Here are some tips to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape this fall.

Keep Your Gutters Clear

Fall means brilliantly covered leaves scattered everywhere- and by everywhere, we also mean the places you don’t want them. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can collect in your gutters, causing them to become clogged and overflow. Instead of water finding its way through the gutters and downspout, it’ll pour over, pooling around your house. This can erode your foundation and potentially cause flooding. Sections of your gutters could even collapse under the weight of all that water. Make sure you inspect your gutters each year in early fall, or even late summer, to make sure they’re clear of any major blockages.

Winterize Your Outdoor Faucets

The changing of the seasons means lower temperatures, so you’ll want to make sure your outdoor faucets are drained and properly insulated. First, shut off the interior valve to the outdoor faucets. With the valve turned off, next you’ll want to turn the outdoor faucet on to drain out any residual water that could potentially freeze and cause a burst pipe. Then, cover the outdoor faucets to insulate them from the cold weather.

Drain Your Water Heater

Did you know sediment will build up in your water heater? This can greatly reduce its heating efficiency- and when the weather starts getting colder, you’ll want all the efficiency you can get. You’ll want to have your water heater periodically drained and inspected by professionals so the warm water will keep flowing when you need it most. 

Check Your Sump Pump

They have an amusing name but sump pumps serve an important function. They are responsible for pumping excess water away from your home. Fall brings rain in the Pacific NW. This can cause flooding if you have a sump pump and it isn’t functioning properly. There’s plenty of water in a Pacific Northwest winter, so you’ll want to take the time to inspect your sump pump. You can test your sump pump by pouring a bucket of water into the sump basin and watching to see if it pumps the water away. If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to call a professional to have it repaired or replaced.

Local Plumbing Experts

Proper preparation can potentially help you avoid thousands of dollars worth of damage and provide you with peace of mind. This fall, call the plumbing experts at D & F Plumbing. We have convenient locations in both Vancouver WA, and Portland OR. We’ve provided quality local plumbing services to the area for over 95 years! We’ve seen a few autumns, so we know how to protect your plumbing from the hazards that the rainy Pacific Northwest can present. Don’t wait- contact D & F Plumbing today!

Preparing Your Plumbing for the Rain

Rain drops spilling out of a gutter

Rain drops spilling out of a gutterApril showers bring May flowers, and… plumbing issues? With the rainy season right around the corner, it is essential to prioritize the comfort of your home, and nobody wants to clean the muck out of gutters in the middle of a storm!

Your plumbing fixtures are especially vulnerable to rain when it hasn’t rained for more than a month – here in the Pacific Northwest, that usually means late summer or early fall. Plumbing problems usually happen around this time because over the dry months of summer, layers of sediment are able to build up inside of drainage pipes. Once it starts raining again, this sediment can disrupt the flow of water and cause mass blockages. To avoid expensive problems like clogging, leaking, or flooding, it’s important to prepare your plumbing for the rain.

Clogged Gutters

Gutters are an essential part of your home’s plumbing system. They collect debris and water and guide it down the perimeter of your home. A good set of gutters not only protects your home from damage but also protects the terrain around your home from erosion. Before we transition into the rainy season, you should inspect and clean your gutters to ensure they’re performing at their full potential.

Ruptured Pipes

Nobody wants to deal with broken pipes. Unfortunately, they’re more common than people think, and they can be very difficult to locate or repair. Ruptured pipes often happen when it rains because the soil surrounding the plumbing fixtures becomes saturated with water and pushes on the pipes. Tree roots can also cause ruptures by growing through pipes and disrupting the flow of water.

Ruptured pipes can be particularly damaging because they allow soil and debris to enter the passage and disturb the flow of water throughout your system. It’s important to get regular inspections to ensure your pipes are prepared to withstand the rain and contact a professional right away if you notice a problem.

Signs You Need a Professional Plumber

Overlooking the signs of a serious plumbing problem could land you with a plumbing emergency. Leaking, flooding, and other problems can be expensive if you don’t catch them right away. Here are some crucial signs that you need a professional plumber:

  • Sewage backflow smell
  • Slow water drainage
  • Septic flooding
  • Visible leaking
  • Water pooling

Local Plumbing Experts in Portland OR

A little bit of effort could spare you the headaches of flooding, leaking, and other expensive damage. If you’ve noticed some warning signs or just want to make sure your plumbing system is in tip-top shape for the rainy season, D & F Plumbing can help!  Your home’s safety is our top priority, and our skilled technicians provide personalized recommendations to get you the best results and emergency plumbing services. Whether you need help preparing your pipes for the rain or have an emergency in the middle of a storm, we have you covered – just contact us today to get your free estimate!

Plants That Can Ruin Your Plumbing

A tree and some flowers in a backyard

Plants in yardJust when you thought you had seen the end of your plumbing problems, plant life adds a whole new obstacle to your maintenance regimen. When shooting for aesthetics, many homeowners overlook the repercussions certain trees and shrubs can have on plumbing fixtures.

While new plants may be beautiful, they could jeopardize your septic and plumbing systems. When enhancing your lawn’s appeal with shrubs and trees, it’s vital to know where and how different plants should be grown to avoid a plumbing emergency. 

Types of Trees That Can Affect Plumbing Fixtures

Trees add beauty, personality, and shade to your yard. Unfortunately, their roots present a significant threat to your plumbing fixtures. Depending on the type and direction of the root’s growth, you may experience blockage in your pipes. Here are the trees that most frequently grow into plumbing lines and fixtures:

  • Birch trees are favored by homeowners who appreciate graceful, slender trees. Birch roots usually grow a 4- to 8-inch-thick mat-like structure, but they still present a threat to nearby pipes. Birch trees need no less than twenty feet of space between plumbing fixtures and your home’s foundation to ensure no damage is done.
  • Citrus trees are a tasty source of lemons, oranges, and more. Although these trees yield wonderful fruits, they’re infamous for their damage to plumbing fixtures and are banned by many HOA’s for this reason. When planting a citrus tree, the placement must be at least 6-8 feet from the foundation of your home to avoid damage.
  • Oak trees are notorious for their longevity and strength, though they’re also infamous for damaging foundations and plumbing fixtures. Because oak trees grow slowly, they can penetrate pipes at a sneaky pace that takes a while to notice. Oak trees should be planted a minimum of 15-30 feet away from important fixtures on your property.

Preventive Growth Barriers

There are many methods you can use to protect yourself from expensive plumbing repairs, and one of the most cost-effective options is to have a preventive growth barrier installed.
A preventive growth barrier is an assemblage of walls implanted into the ground around a plant that’s main job is to redirect the growth of roots. A professional landscaper can help install a growth barrier to make it easier to plant a yard without root-related complications.

Experts In Plumbing Repair

Putting up with the complications of plant-related plumbing damages is no thrilling endeavor. If you’ve done your calculations and a plant’s roots still managed to come in contact with your pipes, it’s best to turn to the experts at D & F Plumbing. Here at D & F Plumbing, we make it our top priority to repair your plumbing and protect your plumbing fixtures from any additional damage. If you require immediate plumbing repair, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Summer Plumbing Tips

Water trickling out of an outdoor water spigot

Water trickling out of an outdoor water spigotWith the soaring temperatures, a reliable water source is crucial during the hot summer months. We need it to water the lawn and the flowers, wash vehicles, and fill pools. Plumbing issues that interrupt your water usage are never convenient but they’re especially problematic during the heat of summer. While looking for potential plumbing issues in your home may not be top of mind, it can protect your plumbing from costly damage and disruption. Here are some summer plumbing tips to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape all summer long.

What to Look For

During the spike of summer heat, most homeowners are probably thinking about fun in the sun, not their pipes and drains. Here’s a list of things you can check to avoid any interruptions to your water supply during the dog days of summer. 

  • Clogs and buildups: For many of us, the summer weather may mean more showers (or baths, for the kids). If you’re using a shower or bathtub and water is draining more slowly than usual, it’s most likely due to an accumulation of debris. Don’t wait to unclog your drain. The longer you leave a blocked drain clogged, the worse it will likely get, especially with increased summer usage. 
  • Water pressure: The optimal water pressure is between 40 and 60 PSI. A water pressure gauge can tell you if the pressure in your plumbing is outside this range, which can indicate a problem. If your pressure is outside this range, you should consider calling a local plumber.
  • Leaks or broken pipes: Summertime is a great time to inspect pipes and plumbing fixtures in and around your house. Homeowners should check for cracks and leaks in pipes, faucets (indoor and outdoor), shower heads, toilets and sprinkler systems at least once per year.
  • Water heater issues: You’ll want to inspect your water heater for any signs of leaking, like rust or water pooling around or underneath it. Also, if you have a summer vacation planned, most water heaters have a dial or switch for ‘vacation’ or ‘low’. Changing this setting before you leave can save you some money.

Your Local Plumbing Experts

If you find leaks or damage while inspecting your pipes or plumbing fixtures in the Portland OR area, you can count on the experts at D & F Plumbing! We’ve proudly served homes and businesses in the area since 1927. We’re dedicated to providing you with fast and dependable services that you can rely on. From pipes and drains to water heaters and other plumbing appliances, our team has you covered! Give us a call today to get your personalized quote.

How Inflation is Impacting Plumbing Projects

Plumber performing plumbing project in Portland OR - D & F Plumbing

Plumber performing plumbing project in Portland OR - D & F PlumbingIf you’ve ever listened to your grandparents reminisce about how low prices used to be when they were younger, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of inflation. While it can be fun to hear about the days when you could get a cheeseburger for under a quarter, the reality of inflation has had a detrimental effect on many households today – especially when it comes to home improvement projects.

If you’re planning a plumbing project, then you’ve probably noticed how prices have been gradually rising over the last several years. Understanding how inflation is impacting plumbing services and products can help you anticipate prices while lowering the overall cost of your project.

Why Are Plumbing Projects Getting More Expensive?

While inflation has definitely contributed to the steady rise in plumbing prices, it isn’t the only factor at play. Another big reason why home improvement projects have gotten more expensive in recent years is COVID-19. The global pandemic worsened trade labor shortages and sparked supply chain issues, resulting in much higher prices for products and services alike.

How to Save Money on Plumbing

Plumbing is a crucial part of your home, and some repairs or improvements are essential. Though inflation and rising project costs can be overwhelming, there are a few ways you can make plumbing more affordable. Here are a few tips you can follow to save money on your plumbing projects:

  • Plan ahead: A little bit of planning can go a long way. Scheduling service far in advance will ensure your project is completed on time even if there are labor shortages. Buying parts ahead of time could also save you money and stress if there are supply chain issues that would otherwise cause delays.
  • Work with a professional: While it may be tempting to cut costs by DIY-ing your projects, large plumbing projects are best left to the professionals. Small errors could lead to leaks or breakdowns, which could cause significant damage to your home and lead to even more expenses than if you had worked with an expert in the first place.
  • Ask for a full quote: Requesting a detailed quote in writing allows you to anticipate expenses and avoid surprises. This not only allows you to plan ahead, but it also provides you with the opportunity to discuss costs with your contractor before they begin work.
  • Work with local plumbers: Local plumbers generally offer faster and more cost-competitive services than national companies. Most local contractors are responsive and willing to deliver personalized services tailored to your individual needs. They are also well-versed in local codes and regulations, which helps projects move along seamlessly.
  • Look for discounts: Some plumbing companies offer special deals to make their services more affordable. When shopping around for a plumber, try looking for coupons or asking about discounts to see where you could save money.

Your Local Plumbing Contractors

If you’re looking for quality plumbing services in the Portland OR area, you can count on the experts at D & F Plumbing! Our experts have proudly helped homes and businesses since 1927, and we are dedicated to providing you with fast and dependable services that you can rely on. From pipes and drains to water heaters and other plumbing appliances, our team has you covered! Just give us a call today to get your personalized quote.

Your Spring Plumbing Checklist

Your springtime plumbing checklist in Portland OR & Vancouver WA - D & F Plumbing

Your springtime plumbing checklist in Portland OR & Vancouver WA - D & F PlumbingSpring has sprung, but hopefully a leak hasn’t! With the warmer weather rolling in, it’s time to tackle that to-do list that’s been piling up all winter – and that includes taking a look at your plumbing system. To make sure your system is in great shape for the new season, go through this spring plumbing checklist:

Check for Leaks & Clogs

Winter can wreak havoc on your plumbing system – particularly on the pipes or fixtures that are located outdoors or near external walls. To make sure nothing is leaking and causing damage throughout your home, it’s a good idea to check around your property for any leaks or clogs. If you notice any issues, a professional plumber can help identify and fix the root cause of the problem while preventing any further damage to your home.

Change Your Hoses

While you’re checking your pipes and fixtures for leaks or damage, you can also take a look at the condition of your hoses. Check the hoses to your dishwasher, washing machine, fridge, and other appliances. Keep an eye out for any bulging or discoloration in addition to leaking and cracks. You or a professional can replace any damaged or worn out hoses to keep your appliances functioning flawlessly.

Clean Your Storm Drains

If your storm drains are clogged, you could face some serious flooding during springtime rain. Taking the time to remove any leaves, sticks, or other debris from your storm drains will keep things flowing properly, which will protect your property while preventing other issues like soil erosion. If you run into serious blockages or drainage issues, then it may be useful to invest in an outdoor drain cleaning service to keep everything in good working order.

Test Your Sump Pump

Your sump pump plays a big role in preventing basement flooding, particularly during times of heavy rain. That’s why spring is the perfect time of year to check in on your sump pump and make sure it’s functioning properly. To test your sump pump, first look to make sure that it’s plugged in correctly. Then, pour a bucket of water into the basin to see if the pump is able to clear it. If your sump pump is unable to clear the water, or you notice any signs of moisture issues in your basement, then it may be time to contact a professional.

Adjust Your Water Heater

Water heaters get a lot of use in the cold winter months, which is why spring is the perfect time of year to perform any maintenance and check in on your system. An expert can flush your tank while also screening for any potential issues to make sure yours is working wonderfully for the new season. Now is also a good time to turn down the temperature, which will save you money during the spring and summer.

5 Common Winter Plumbing Issues

5 common winter plumbing issues in Vancouver WA and Portland OR - D&F Plumbing Services

5 common winter plumbing issues in Vancouver WA and Portland OR - D&F Plumbing ServicesOnce you’ve got your fuzzy socks and a warm mug of cocoa, you’re all ready for winter – right? Well, though these things are definitely essentials, you might be missing a couple of important steps. Before you bundle up for the winter, it’s important to prepare your home – or more specifically, your plumbing system – for the cold weather.

Your plumbing system is particularly susceptible to breaking in freezing temperatures, and damages could be quite expensive to repair. Experts estimate that a single burst pipe costs about $5,000 in damages (eek!). To ensure your home is protected from the cold weather, it’s important to know about the common winter plumbing issues and how to prevent them:

1. Burst Pipes

When water freezes inside of a pipe, it expands and causes an increase in pressure that could cause the pipe to break. That’s why burst pipes are such a common problem in winter, and why it’s crucial to protect your plumbing system as temperatures drop. To avoid a burst pipe, you can insulate exposed pipes with heating tape or other pipe insulation. If you aren’t sure how to properly insulate your pipes, an expert may be able to help.

2. Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are a common plumbing issue that can happen during any season. However, winter holidays often mean more cooking and more guests. The combination of increased usage and possible substances – like oil or fat – going down the drain could cause a tough clog. To prevent a backup this winter, try to keep things like coffee grounds, eggshells, and grease from going down the drain.

3. Water Heater Failure

When cold temperatures hit, your water heater has to work much harder to bring you the same amount of warm water – especially if you have guests who are increasing your water usage. The extra strain on your water heater could increase wear and tear while amplifying any problems with your unit. To ensure your water heater is prepared for winter, we recommend draining your tank and scheduling a professional inspection.

4. Frozen Septic Tanks

Septic systems are particularly susceptible to the cold. If your tank freezes over, it could prevent bacteria from treating the sewage, which may cause your tank to overflow or leak raw sewage. That is why it’s critical to winterize your septic tank before winter is in full swing. You can do so by insulating exposed pipes, regularly using hot water, and keeping the drain field clear of any traffic. If it has been 2 or more years since you last pumped your tank, you may also want to do so before winter to avoid backups. To ensure your septic system is totally protected from the cold, you could also contact an expert for personalized recommendations.

5. Leaks and Drips

Leaks and drips are common plumbing problems year-round, but they are more common in the winter. Cold temperatures often cause old or weakened pipes to freeze over and develop more leaks, which are often more challenging to fix in winter weather. To prevent more leaks and drips in the winter, we recommend scheduling a professional inspection to fix any weakened pipes before cold weather sets in.

Plumbing Winterization in Portland OR

Winterizing your plumbing system is an important part of protecting your home from the damage that freezing temperatures can cause. A little bit of preparation and maintenance could save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

If you want to ensure your plumbing system is completely protected from the cold, call a licensed plumber like those at D & F Plumbing to get personalized recommendations. Our skilled technicians have been proudly serving the greater Portland OR area for nearly 100 years, and we can use our expertise to help keep your home safe all winter long. If you want help winterizing your plumbing, call the experts at D & F Plumbing today!

Oh Snap! Don’t Let a Frozen Pipe Ruin Your Winter

Learn how to avoid frozen pipes with the D&F Plumbing experts in Vancouver WA!

Learn how to avoid frozen pipes with the D&F Plumbing experts in Vancouver WA!A frozen or burst pipe can really throw a wrench in your winter plans. The last thing you want is to be patching leaks over the holidays or redirecting a waterfall on New Year’s. But, as temperatures drop, your plumbing system could freeze or crack, leading to some serious and potentially costly problems.

So, as winter sets in, it’s time to get snappy and protect your plumbing! Here are some tips for keeping your pipes in good shape through freezing temperatures this winter:

  • Wrap pipes with insulating materials. Wrapping any exposed pipes in insulating materials, such as heating tape or mineral wool, is a great way to protect them from the cold. That way, they won’t freeze over and risk cracking and leaking.
  • Seal leaks around your home. A lot of homes have some drafty areas. But, if your home has a lot of cold air blowing near your plumbing system, it could become an issue. Sealing off any air leaks around dryer vents, pipes, or electrical wiring can keep your pipes from freezing.
  • Shut off and drain water from outdoor plumbing. Your outdoor pipes are most at risk of freezing and breaking. Since most of us don’t use our outdoor spigots during winter, it’s usually best to shut off water to your outdoor plumbing when cold weather hits. We also recommend draining the pipes and storing your garden hoses indoors.
  • Keep your thermostat the same temperature day and night. A lot of people are in the habit of shutting off their thermostat for the night – after all, you’ll be cozy and wrapped in blankets anyway! But, temperatures are lowest at night, and a particularly cold night is all it would take to freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks and near exterior walls. The heat inside of your home can seep into your exterior walls, keeping your pipes nice and toasty. Opening up cabinet doors near exterior walls can facilitate the transfer of warmth from your home to your plumbing system.
  • Keep garage doors closed as much as possible. The more you keep your garage doors open, the colder your home – and plumbing system – can become. Keeping your garage doors closed can protect the pipes near that part of your house.
  • Thaw frozen pipes with warm water or hair dryers. If worse comes to worst and you notice a pipe is frozen solid, you’ll want to thaw it out quickly. Warm water or the heat from a hairdryer will likely do the trick. It’s important to remember that this should only be used as a last-resort tactic, and you should never use an open flame to thaw out a frozen pipe.
  • Call for help immediately if you run into problems. If you wake up to a burst pipe or a flooded basement, it’s important to call for immediate help. An experienced plumber can help fix the leak quickly and efficiently while providing some guidance on how to prevent future plumbing problems.

Dependable Plumbers in the Pacific Northwest

Winter plumbing problems can be intimidating, not to mention costly without the right attention. However, you’re not alone! The expert technicians at D & F Plumbing in Vancouver WA and Portland OR are committed to helping you keep your plumbing system in great condition. Whether you are facing broken pipes or just want help with winterizing your plumbing, we’ve got you covered! Just give us a call today to get started!