Frozen pipes bring a sudden halt to normal life. You need to find a plumber for an emergency service call. It costs money and everyone in the family feels the pain of being without running water.

People in the Portland-metro area often skip winterizing outdoor pipes. Oregon winters are usually mild, so some homeowners gamble with Mother Nature.

But, the weather in Oregon and Washington can turn harsh. If that happens, you and thousands of others all over Portland will be frantically calling plumbers at the same time. You could be left in the cold, without working plumbing.

And it’s all unnecessary. Winterizing outdoor plumbing systems prevents them from freezing and keeps them safe throughout the season.

Apollo can help you winterize. But, if you are handy with pipes, you can do some of the work yourself.  Here’s what you need to do to keep your home’s outdoor pipes and plumbing protected during freezing temperatures in Portland, Oregon.

What Happens if You Don’t Winterize Outdoor Plumbing

Pipes don’t burst at the point where they freeze. They rupture downstream from the freeze, where the pressure is powerful.

If a problem occurs with an outdoor spigot attached to your home, a pipe could bust inside the walls of your house. A burst pipe causes water damage to floors, ceilings, walls and furniture.

Learn what to do to keep frozen pipes from bursting.

Winterize Your Pipes and Faucets

There are three areas you need to be concerned about:

  • Garden hoses
  • Garden faucet
  • Insulation

Hoses. Disconnect and drain garden hoses. Store them in a protected area.

Faucets. There are two types of outdoor faucets. One has a shut-off valve; the other is a freeze-proof outdoor faucet. For those with a shut-off valve, close the valve and then open the spigots so the lines can thoroughly drain. Leave them open until spring.

If you have a back-flow device, give Apollo a call for help since back-flow devices can be tricky to winterize.

Insulation. Wrap insulation over the faucet.Then add an insulated cover made for faucets. Spray-foam insulation around the hose bib can stop cold air from getting into the inside of a wall, a leading cause of frozen pipes.

Winterize Your Irrigation Pipes

If you have an irrigation system, your best bet is to get professional help to prepare it for winter. Here’s an overview of the procedure:

  • Get rid of water in the sprinkler system.
  • Turn off the water supply and open the drain valves.
  • If your system has a draining system that works automatically, all you need to do is shut off the main supply of water.

At this point you need to:

  • Get rid of any water remaining by opening up the cap on one of two valves: either the stop-and-waste or the boiler drain valve.
  • Check the backflow mechanism and open the test cocks.
  • If the system uses check valves, you will need to take the sprinkler head out of the ground, then drain any water collected in it.

Does your irrigation system use a blow-out type of winterization? Call a specialist in irrigation systems. If you do it yourself, you can damage the sprinkler head and lines.

Why It’s Best to Call a Plumber for Winterizing

Hiring a plumber for winterizing prevents more expensive repairs. Though it can be tempting to do everything yourself, it may cost you in the end. It’s all too easy to miss a pipe or faucet or damage a sprinkler system.

Call Apollo, the Winterizing Experts

Apollo Drain provides affordable solutions for all types of plumbing in the Gresham, Portland and Vancouver areas.

Time to winterize? Contact the experts at Apollo today.