Did you know that when a water pipe freezes it can exert over 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch? When the pipes burst it can cause lot of damage. Good news - there are a few steps to reduce your risk.
Take Protective Measures:
In frigid temperatures, the best thing that you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing is to take protective measures. Here are some tips on how to save yourself a trip from the plumber:
- Cover all exterior house vents. First, remove and drain all outdoor hoses.
- Unhook hoses and hose bibs.
- Wrap or cover all outside hose bibs/pipes. You can purchase covers at most home supply stores.
- Insulate your water heater if in the garage or an unheated part of the house.
- Place an insulation jacket around your water heater if it is in a unheated space.
Exterior Walls Not Insulated - Check Under the Sink
Are you exterior walls properly insulated? Sinks located on an exterior wall are most at risk. Not sure if they are insulated? Keep your cabinet doors open. The warm air from the room can help prevent the pipes under your sink from freezing.
Pipes Already Frozen?
If you suspect that your pipes have frozen, as you have no water, here are some steps to take:
Call Public Works at 360.753.8333. Let us know you suspect your pipes are frozen. Staff will check the water meter to ensure it is not frozen when they come out.
We Will Turn Your Water Off. It is important to turn off your water BEFORE your pipes thaw. Do not attempt to turn off your water meter yourself. You can damage the meter and will be responsible for any damages and needed repairs.
Find the Leak(s). Check your exposed pipes for leaks/cracks before thawing begins.
Thaw Your Pipes. After your water is turned off, open cabinets under the sink to allow the heat of the house in. This will help thaw the pipes.
Fix the Leak. Check the yellow pages for a qualified plumber.
Call Us When Pipes Are Repaired. We will come back out, free of charge, to turn your water back on. We will also verify that you no longer have a leak.
Important Safety Tip
Never use a flame torch to thaw your pipes, as it is a fire hazard. Open flame torches can cause fires. The safe thawing method is a using a hair dryer on low and/ or opening your cabinet doors.
Freezing Temperatures May Affect Garbage, Organics and Recycle Carts:
- The combination of freezing weather and moisture in Organics carts (as well as Recycle and Garbage carts), can cause materials to freeze to the containers, which results in carts not emptying completely. To avoid this, keep your carts in your garage, when possible, and attempt to break any frozen items loose before your pick up.
Contacting Public Works: