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.

Temperatures are already starting to drop here in the Pacific Northwest and once the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your pipes run the risk of rupturing. Help prevent a plumbing disaster this winter with these helpful winterizing tips.

Insulate Pipes

If you have pipes in unheated areas like attics, garages or crawl spaces you’ll want to cover them up with pipe insulation. Most hardware and home improvement stores sell foam sheaths in a variety of sizes and they’re easy to install. Just make sure you insulate the entire pipe. You can also use a heat cable for vulnerable pipes as long as you have an electrical outlet nearby. Heat cables are affordable. They turn heat on and off according to the pipe’s temperature.

Cover Outdoor Faucets

Whether you call them faucets, spigots, hose bibs or sillcocks these outdoor plumbing fixtures can burst from cold air if left unprotected. Drain all of your exterior faucets and cover them. You can purchase foam faucet covers from most retailers. After you’ve properly insulated your 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.

If You’ll Be Out of Town, Shut off the Water

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.

Maintain Steady Heat

To help prevent your pipes from rupturing while you’re out of town, we recommend you keep your thermostat set to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help conserve energy and ensure your pipes don’t freeze, burst, and flood throughout your home.

Make Sure Your Water Heater is Working Properly

You rely on your water heater for showers, baths, laundry, and dishes and the last thing you want is for it to break during a cold snap. 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 because these materials can clog pipes. We recommend you let the grease harden then scrape it a trash can. If you do experience a kitchen drain clog, don’t use any store-bought products. These are not a long-term solution and can damage your pipes, by carving away at the lining. Instead, contact your local plumber. They have professional-grade equipment like snakes video inspection and most plumbing companies even provide emergency plumbing services.

Contact the Experts for Winterizing

We hope these tips help you as you work to winterize your plumbing this year. If you have any plumbing questions or need help winterizing your home or business, contact us.

Winter Plumbing Tips in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Serving the Portland OR Metro, Clark County, and Surrounding Areas

Beaverton | Hillsboro | Forest Grove | Tigard | Tualatin | Portland OR | Gresham | Troutdale | Milwaukie | Clackamas | Oregon City | Lake Oswego

Canby | Wilsonville | Estacada | Vancouver WA | Camas | Washougal | Ridgefield | Battle Ground | Salmon Creek | McMinnville | Newberg | Dundee | Longview

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