Monday, February 28, 2022

As temperatures plummet, don’t let your pipes freeze. Local experts share tips

As local plumbers race to fix cracked pipes from the cold weather across the Western Washington region, they’re also sharing tips for how to prevent damage.

“Dangerously cold temperatures” will linger through Wednesday with highs in the 20s and lows dipping to 15 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Reached by phone Monday, spokespeople from local businesses, including Beacon Plumbing and Hunt’s Services, told The News Tribune their crews were dealing with emergency plumbing issues that surfaced because of the cold, often from pipes freezing and then bursting or cracking.

Idriana Velez, office manager with All Purpose Plumbing in Tacoma, said she’s been doing her best to share tips via phone for people trying to protect their homes against the cold.

Velez suggested having the cold water drip from faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.

“Another thing is opening all the cabinets beneath the sinks to let the heat from the house reach them,” she said.

Velez also suggested covering crawl space entrances for homes that have them to prevent cold outside air from freezing pipes inside.

Tacoma Public Utilities also shares tips on its website:

1. Insulate exposed pipes, valves and hose bibs. That includes pipes that are outdoors, in attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages. Pipe insulation and insulating material for hose bibs is available at many hardware stores.

2. Shut off and drain outside faucets. If your hose bibs have individual shutoff valves, turn off the water supply for individual hose bibs and open hose bibs to drain faucets.

3. Shut off and winterize your outdoor irrigation system and other water fixtures.

4. Disconnect your garden hoses from hose bibs.

5. Keep heat on and set your thermostat no lower than 55° F while away from home.

6. If you are leaving your house for an extended period of time, ask someone to check it daily to ensure the heat is turning on.

7. Locate your emergency shutoff and learn how to turn off your water supply.


This article is written by Allison Needles from The News Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to