Pipes at risk of freezing, bursting in Western WA due to cold temperatures

Plumbing companies in West Washington prepare for calls to repair frozen and broken pipes.

The frost in the Puget Sound area could last well into next week

Since the cold temperatures are expected to prevail in the region on Monday and Tuesday for at least a few more days, there is a risk that your pipes – inside and outside – will freeze and burst.

With indoor whistles, it is helpful to keep the heating on even if you plan to be away. You may also want to drip a faucet on the top floor to make sure the water is flowing and moving.

“Make sure all your hose taps are unclamped and covered – you can use a styrofoam cover, you can cover them with rags, plastic bags, etc. – just to insulate them and protect them from the cold temperatures,” Dom Ulrich of Southwest Plumbing told KIRO 7 TV about outdoor fittings.

Ulrich says you may not know the extent of frozen pipe damage until it gets warm. Then the water starts to drain through any cracks that have formed.

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Plumbers say pipes burst most often when temperatures drop quickly and there isn’t enough insulation. This can happen indoors if the thermostats are set too low. Seattle Public Utilities recommends opening the cabinet doors under the sink to allow heat to circulate. Wrap pipes to keep them insulated.

As Ulrich mentioned, remove the outer hoses and empty them. You should also know where your electricity, water and gas closures are so that you can act quickly in an emergency.

But while you’re trying to keep the pipes from freezing, don’t use fire to thaw them. Investigators believe a trailer in Pasco, Washington, was destroyed as a result. The Tri-City Herald reports that firefighters found the house on fire Monday morning. The two people living there could safely get out.

KIRO 7 TV News Staff contributed to this report.

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