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Dealing with Frozen Pipes in Your Seattle Home

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Of all the plumbing problems that can show up during winter, few are more impactful than frozen pipes. When the Seattle, WA temperatures drop low enough, the water in your pipes can freeze, which can lead to the pipes themselves becoming cracked. Eventually, those pipes are likely to burst, causing major flooding in your home and resulting in water damage, mold growth, and other significant problems. Here, we’ll examine how to prevent these issues in your home. We’ll also look at how to tell when your pipes have become frozen. If you need quality plumbing services in the greater Seattle area, you can always depend on our expert team at Gene Johnson Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical.


Preventing Frozen Pipes

If you’re proactive, there are a few steps you can take to greatly reduce the chances of your pipes freezing. Even if the Seattle area has a particularly cold winter, pipes that are properly protected should be relatively safe. Before the chilliest part of the year arrives, consider taking these simple measures:


Insulate Exposed Pipes

In your Seattle area home, your plumbing system may feature quite a few pipes in exposed areas. You might find these pipes in your attic, your basement, and even around the outer walls of your household. Without any protection, these pipes are very susceptible to freezing during the winter. Before it gets too cold out, consider purchasing foam piping insulation from your local hardware store and wrapping your exposed pipes in it.


Keep Your Home Warm

Preventing your pipes from freezing by turning up the thermostat may seem obvious, but it absolutely works. When the temperature plummets outside, make a point to keep your household thermostat above 55 degrees at all times. This will help ensure that your piping never gets cold enough to become frozen.


Let Your Faucets Drip

It probably goes against your instincts as a homeowner, but consider leaving your home’s faucets dripping when the weather outside is below freezing. This will keep the water flowing and prevent ice from forming inside the pipes. The sound of dripping may get a bit annoying, but it’s far preferable to dealing with frozen or burst pipes!


Identifying Frozen Pipes

Ideally, you’ll be able to prevent your pipes from freezing. However, if you do suspect that you’ve got frozen piping in your home, you should immediately call Gene Johnson to schedule an appointment with our pipe repair experts. First, though, you’ll need to recognize that there’s a problem. Listed below are a few telltale signs that you’re dealing with frozen pipes.


Lack of Water

The most clearcut sign that your pipes are frozen is a lack of water flowing from one or more fixtures in your home. When a pipe freezes entirely, it means the water inside is frozen as well. So, if your water suddenly stops flowing in the middle of the winter, there’s a good chance that at least one section of your piping has become frozen.


Nasty Odor From the Drain

If certain sections of your piping freeze, it can lead to your drainage becoming blocked. As a result, food scraps and other waste you’ve put down the sink may start to become backed up, which can lead to an unpleasant odor coming from the drain. There are several potential causes for this symptom, but if it happens when the temperature outside is below freezing, then frozen pipes are a definite possibility.


Visible Frost

During the winter months, it’s always wise to keep an eye on any visible pipes in your household—especially if they aren’t insulated. If it gets cold enough, you may notice visible frost forming on the outside of these pipes. When that happens, it’s a strong indicator that the pipes are frozen or in the process of freezing.


Trusted Seattle Plumbing Professionals

If you want to avoid a very unpleasant situation in your home, it’s important to be proactive when it comes to frozen pipes. Ideally, you’ll use these tips to prevent them or at least catch them before they burst. However, if you end up needing burst pipe repair or other emergency plumbing services in the Seattle area, our team at Gene Johnson will always be there to help. We also offer numerous other expert services, including drain cleaning, water heater repair, leak detection, and many more. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.