Freezing temperatures could lead to flooding, if you don’t protect your pipes

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SEATTLE - The freezing temperature can cause a lot of problems, if people aren’t prepared. Homeowners could face flooding if they don’t protect their pipes.

Crews with Beacon Plumbing are already busy, but they know it’s about to get even busier. Every year when the temperatures drop, the pipe problems begin.

“We get one little cold snap and we’ll just get flooded with a whole bunch of calls with frozen pipes and things flooding,” says Ned Evans.

But he says you can avoid costly repairs by planning ahead. He suggests you start by looking at your outside faucets.

“This area around a hose faucet can hold water. That in turn can cause the faucet and pipe to freeze and break. Then there’s flooding, possibly inside the house.”

You can get a frost free hose bib, but he says it only works if you disconnect your garden hose.

“If you have a hose connected, the water’s not going to drain. If there’s still water sitting in the pipe, that’s the part we often see freeze and break.”

Evans suggests getting an insulated hood for your faucet, which is available at most hardware stores.

“They’re about $3 a piece, it’s very cheap insurance against freezing.”

Then you should check you’re inside pipes. He says you don’t need a plumber to do that.

“The easiest thing is do it yourself. If you feel comfortable getting underneath your house or up in the attic, you can wrap your pipes.”

He says you can use foam insulation or heat tape, for a little extra protection.

Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is keep your water running.

“If it gets extremely cold, then you could turn on faucets so it’s a slow steady stream of water.”

He says those small steps could save you from flooding frustration this winter.

“Water does a lot of damage, so anything you can do to try and avoid that disaster is a good idea.”

Another piece of advice is to locate your water shut off valve. Then if your pipes do burst, you can minimize the amount of water that gets into your home.