Three Simple Tips For Winter Plumbing Safety

In the Pacific Northwest, the winter time is a time of extreme cold in certain areas. Extreme cold means a lot of risk of pipes freezing over. A frozen pipe can burst without any notice. A burst pipe is a very expensive repair. If you would like to avoid expensive repairs to your plumbing, here are some basic tips that will help you out.

Leave The Heat On When You Will Not Be At Home For Extended Periods Of Time

Keeping the temperature high in your home, office or other property will reduce the risk that a pipe will freeze over. Once a pipe has frozen over, it becomes a serious liability. Frozen water in your pipes mean that the next time you turn the water on, that pipe will continue to pressurize. Water will not be able to slip past the ice, eventually causing the pipe to burst due to the pressure of rushing water hitting unmovable ice.

Once a pipe has burst, repairing it is usually out of the question. A small leak can be fixed fairly easily, but a pipe that has burst due to a pressurized blast is likely done for. The same is true of a water main that is frozen, though these are typically maintained by your local water department. Paying a few extra dollars each month for heat makes more sense than risking a burst pipe.

Let A Small Amount Of Water Drip From Your Faucets

Similar to the conundrum when it comes to paying a bit extra for heat, paying a bit extra for a dripping faucet is worth it. If you rent an apartment, you will probably not have to pay for water. Most apartment complexes throughout the Pacific Northwest will pay for water, sewer and garbage. In this situation, you do not have to worry about whether or not allowing a slight drip from your faucets will jack up your water bill. In fact, most land lords and land ladies tell their residence to keep a slight drip coming from the sink in their kitchen or in their bathroom.

Typically, a property manager of an apartment building, complex or community will not mind having to pay for the very slight increase in water utility bills due to slight drips. The nominal increase in the overall water bill for that apartment community is far less expensive than replacing a burst pipe. Even a little bit of flow in the pipes will provide enough friction in the pipe that it will not freeze over in extreme cold.

If you own property, the same logic applies. Would you rather pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an expensive burst pipe repair or a few extra dollars per month for dripping faucets?

Disconnect Any Garden Hoses
If you typically leave a hose on a spigot outside of your home, unhook the hose during winter. Even a little bit of water dripping over the hose connector can cause ice to form. That ice may block the path of rushing water the next time you go to use your hose. Again, ice in your plumbing can cause a burst pipe. It is better to coil up your hose and only connected as needed.

Robert Seitzinger is a copywriter for United Plumbing, a reliable Gresham plumber that offers excellent winter plumbing tips.