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Helpful Information on Plumbing, Heating, & More

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The Dangers of Frozen Pipes

The Impact of Frozen Pipes On Your Home

During the winter months, frozen pipes can cause various issues and become an expensive disaster for homeowners. Knowing the potential causes and preventative measures can save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation in the long run. 

Let’s explore why pipes freeze and what you can do to protect your home from this costly problem. 

What Causes Pipes to Freeze? 

When temperatures drop below freezing, water that is left in exposed pipes can freeze. The water expands as ice crystals form within the line, causing them to become blocked or even burst in extreme cases. 

The most common areas for pipes to freeze are those located outdoors or in unheated areas such as basements, attics, garages, or crawl spaces. Lines running along exterior walls also tend to be more vulnerable since they are not insulated as well as those running through the center of a building. 

How Can I Prevent Pipes From Freezing? 

Preventing pipes from freezing doesn’t have to be difficult; it just requires some basic steps that will keep your plumbing system safe during cold weather conditions: 

  • Insulate all exposed pipes with insulation sleeves (available at any hardware store) or other appropriate materials like foam rubber or fiberglass batting. 
  • Ensure all windows and doors are properly sealed so cold air cannot enter your home. 
  • Install heat tape around exposed pipes that may be vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Heat tape is an electrical heating element designed for wrapping around exposed piping and keeping it warm enough so that it does not freeze. Heat tape must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the local electrical code requirements — improper installation could result in shock hazards or fire risks.   
  • Keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit when leaving your house unattended during cold weather periods — even if you plan on being away for only a few days! If you are leaving town for long, consider having someone check up on your property regularly (usually every 3 – 4 days) to ensure nothing has gone wrong while you were away.   
  • Proper water pressure maintenance is also essential; too much pressure can cause weak points in your plumbing system, which could lead to frozen or burst pipes over time. You should install a good quality pressure regulator valve (PRV) on each line entering your house. These valves keep water pressure at safe levels throughout the entire system and help prevent damage from occurring due to high-pressure situations.
  • Ensure all outdoor faucets are shut off before winter arrives – this will ensure that any remaining water inside these lines does not freeze when temperatures drop below freezing!    

Protect Your Plumbing This Winter With South West Plumbing

No one wants to be stuck freezing at home and have a malfunctioning plumbing system. If you find yourself in that predicament this winter, the certified plumbers and technicians at South West Plumbing can help. We’ve been serving King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties for more than 40 years, and in that time, we’ve seen every plumbing problem imaginable.

Call (206) 932-1777 today or request a service appointment online.

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Handling All Your Plumbing, HVAC, & Electrical Needs
  • We have over 40 years of experience.
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