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Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Campbell & company when to call plumber vs water utility

Weather is changing in the Tri-Cities & Yakima area, the lows are in the 40’s and that means it’s time to get your home prepared for winter.

You might be wondering, why should I insulate my pipes? Well that’s a great question, and we are happy to answer. When water freezes, it expands and so does your pipes. Bursting, releasing water in the most inconvenient places. We can assume that you don’t want that, and we don’t want that to happen to you either.

Follow these tips to prevent your pipes from bursting: (this is great for homeowners and renters)

house in the snow with ice covering windows

  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Source: American Red Cross

Now onto the Insulation side of things…

Insulating the hot water pipes in your house is something of importance. Pipe insulation is inexpensive, and the project is one that any homeowner could finish on a Saturday afternoon.

All you really need is pipe insulation and tape.


Pipe insulation is easy to find at any hardware store.

armacell insulation tape

You can get Insulation tape at any hardware store.

Should cold water pipes be insulated in cold climates?

Whether to insulate the cold water pipes is less clear-cut. The project is still pretty inexpensive and easy — but does it have a point? Insulation retains heat, and these are cold water pipes. So why do it?

There are a few good reasons. If the basement or crawl space has un-insulated walls, insulated cold water pipes would be less prone to freezing in cold climates.

If the basement is conditioned space, an insulated cold water pipe won’t absorb heat. A fully taped and insulated cold water pipe won’t condense moisture on its surface.

If the basement space is insulated, cold water pipes may absorb heat. The basement air temperature would be in the high 50s while the cold water pipes would be 10-12 degrees colder.

If the pipes are left un-insulated, this would be a continual, low-level draw of heat from the building. Normally this might be too small to bother, but the cost of insulating pipes is so minimal it becomes worth discussing.

Pipe insulating can save you money in the long run.

Energy Savings: 3%-4% annually

Time to Complete: 3 hours for a small house

Overall Cost: $10-$15

Check out this video by “This Old House” discussing how to wrap your pipes for the winter with a few extra helpful tips.

If the freezing weather bursts your pipes or for more helpful tips, call Campbell & Company.  Our friendly, licensed technicians can fix your plumbing problem super quick!

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Areas We Serve Benton City | Burbank
| Ellensburg | Grandview | Kennewick | Kiona | Mattawa | Mesa
| Moxee | Pasco | Richland | Yakima
Campbell & Company service area including Yakima, Richland, Kennewick, Connell & Walla Walla