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Takes steps now to prevent frozen pipes

Post Date:01/13/2020 1:59 PM

With subfreezing temperatures forecast through the end of the week, South County Fire encourages people to take steps now to prevent frozen pipes.

South County Fire typically sees an increase in 911 calls for burst water pipes during and following a cold snap. Freezing water can expand and rupture plastic and metal water pipes. In most cases, this damage becomes apparent when the water begins to thaw.

To prevent frozen pipes:

• Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow room temperature air to circulate around pipes.
• Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes.
• Locate your water shut-off valves so if your pipes do burst you can act quickly to limit damage.

How to tell if pipes are frozen:

• If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places include exterior walls and locations where water service enters your home through the foundation.

To thaw frozen pipes:

• Keep the faucet open to help melt ice in the pipe.
• Thaw slowly by wrapping the pipe in a towel soaked in hot water or exposing the pipe to room temperature.
• Do not use a blow torch, kerosene or propane heater or other open flames.
• If you cannot locate or access the frozen area, call a licensed plumber.

If pipes burst:

• Quickly shut off the water valve.
• Call a licensed plumber.

When to call 911:

• If water gets in or near electrical outlets or panels
• If water threatens a pilot light or power to a water heater or furnace.

South County Fire is the largest provider of fire and emergency medical services in Snohomish County, serving more than 250,000 residents in unincorporated communities and the cities of Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.