Tag Archives: frozen pipes

How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Frozen Temperatures

How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Frozen TemperaturesLast winter Portland saw record low temperatures. While the thermostat seldom dips below freezing here, whenever it’s predicted it’s a good idea to survey your home and property and prepare for the worst. Besides wrapping or covering vulnerable plants, you also want to protect your pipes from the predicted frozen temperature drop.

Protecting Your Pipes

When water in your pipes freezes, it will expand and can burst your pipes and cause flooding. Here’s how to protect pipes.


If you don’t regularly disconnect your outdoor hoses and wrap your faucets when freezing temperatures are predicted, you should. Drain faucets and wrap them with a commercially manufactured faucet cover, or use old towels. It’s best to turn the faucet off at the inside valve if you can, and leave the faucet open to drain. Leaving a trickle of water running slightly will also help.

Water sprinkler lines and swimming pool supply lines are also vulnerable and should be protected. Never use antifreeze, which is attractive to pets and some wild animals and can kill them.


If you have pipes running through the basement, attic or the crawl space, increase the insulation in those areas to prevent freezing. This will also help lower your utility bill.

Inspect your home for any areas where pipes located on an exterior wall might freeze, such as in a kitchen or bathroom. Even though you might think you’ll always keep the temperatures high enough to avoid freezing, you could have a furnace breakdown in the midst of a cold spell. If this happens when you’re away, you could return to a flooded home. Pipes in cabinets may be particularly at risk.

Wrap pipes in a pipe sleeve or use heat tape or a heated cable. The latter methods rely on electricity so won’t help if your power goes out. You can also wrap pipes in 1/4-inch-thick newspaper or insulation. Also, leave the cabinet door open during cold spells so the heat gets inside the cabinets.

To learn more about protecting pipes when a frozen temperature prediction is issued, contact Roth Heating and Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “illustrade/Pixabay”

Here’s How You Can Avoid Frozen Pipes in This Winter

Here’s How You Can Avoid Frozen Pipes in This WinterOrganizing a plan to avoid frozen pipes this winter will help you combat one of the most dreaded plumbing emergencies during cold weather. When pipes freeze, the water inside them can expand to the point where they burst. Not only will the water damage take a toll on your home, you could lose the convenience of indoor plumbing until the problem is fixed. You can easily prevent the pipes from freezing with little effort or cost.

  • Learn where your home’s water shutoff valve is and how to shut it off.
  • Note where the pipes are that lie inside or next to exterior walls or the attic. A kitchen or bathroom sink that lies on an exterior wall could have pipes that originate near the exterior. If you can access them, wrap them with foam sleeves that will keep them warmer.
  • If your home has a crawl space or basement, seal all the cracks that let cold air enter with caulk or expanding foam. You can also wrap the pipes with loose fiberglass insulation to keep them warmer. You’ll need gloves, a dust mask, and goggles to protect yourself from the tiny particles this type of insulation emits as you handle it. You can also use heat tape to prevent frozen pipes. Some of these wraps are thermostatically controlled and they’ll turn on and off as needed.
  • When you’re leaving your home for an extended period, set the temperature to 55 degrees and open the cabinet doors for the kitchen and bathroom sinks. The pipes will stay warm enough to prevent freezing.
  • In the event of severely cold temperatures, let a faucet trickle overnight. Choose a faucet on the second floor if you have a two-story home, preferably one whose pipes sit near an outside wall.
  • Invest in pipe sealing kits that will stop or slow a frozen pipe leak. Your local home center or hardware store may stock them, or find them online.

To learn more about preventing frozen pipes, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC and plumbing services for Portland area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Paul Tessier/Shutterstock”

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing This Winter and What to Do If It Happens

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing This Winter and What to Do If It HappensAs Portland’s temperatures begin to drop, you may be concerned about your pipes freezing. This season, you can take some steps to prevent this from happening.

A frozen pipe can be a real nightmare. When water freezes, it expands and puts added pressure on your pipes. Even the strongest of materials can’t stand up to this kind of pressure. As a result, you’ll be left with a big plumbing problem and no water.

Some of your pipes are more exposed to the elements and are more likely to freeze this winter. These include:

  • Pool supply lines
  • Sprinkler lines
  • Water supply pipes in unheated areas
  • Pipes against uninsulated exterior walls

Before winter hits, you can prepare your home and prevent pipes from freezing. Any water remaining in your swimming pool supply line and water sprinkler supply line should be drained. In addition to removing your hoses from outdoor spigots, you should drain and store them.

You should also open outdoor hose bibs to give frozen water room to expand, keeping the indoor ones closed. Walk through your home and ensure that all hot and cold water supply pipes are protected from the cold. If they’re not, insulate them. For insulation materials, use newspapers, pipe sleeves, heat tape and other materials designed specifically for keeping pipes protected.

If you notice that a pipe has frozen, you should thaw it immediately. To do so, leave a faucet open and find the source of the problem. When you locate the pipe, use a heating pad, hair dryer or space heater to thaw the pipe. You can also wrap a towel drenched in hot water around the pipe. Eventually, the pipe will warm up and water will start flowing.

You may not be able to find the frozen pipe, or it may be inaccessible. If this is the case, you need to call a qualified technician immediately. Contact us for more information about heating and cooling your Portland home. Roth Heating & Cooling combines experience with great services that meet your needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Paul-Tessier/Shutterstock”

Frozen Pipes — 7 Methods Of Prevention

Frozen Pipes -- 7 Methods Of PreventionFrozen pipes can be a disaster. Aside from the obvious damage to plumbing a burst pipe can cause, the repercussions can also include structural damage, flooding and eventually mold. The way to avoid these nightmares is with preventive measures. Here are seven to get you started: Continue reading