How to keep your pipes from freezing this winter

SPOKANE, Wash. — In this weather, it doesn’t take long for the cold to creep in and freeze water pipes in your home, which could turn into thousands of dollars in repairs.

For Robert McWatters, he doesn’t worry too much about it.

“This is nothing. We lived in North Dakota for a while, that’s cold. It’s not like here. This is almost summer compared to there,” he said.

He’s never had to deal with frozen pipes before, because he knows what to do.

“Ours are mostly inside. We have a basement that’s about 4 feet high, so I can check everything out under there. And it’s insulated, so we don’t have too much problem, and there’s no problem in the house because it’s nice and warm all the time.”

If you go on vacation and turn your heat down, those frozen pipes can burst.

“Living in the Northwest is a little bit different, you got to be prepared for it. And if you’ve been up here for a while, then you know what you got to do,” he said.

Outside walls get colder than the inside walls, so if you’re leaving out of town this Christmas, it’s a good idea to maybe open the cabinets to let the heat into your pipes.

“The only way that those pipes freeze is that the cold overcomes the heat leaving your house,” said Whit Bendewald, president of Professional Piping Inc.

Professional Piping gets quite a few calls during the winter for this exact problem.

“A couple of days from now, we’re going to be getting calls with customers that have frozen pipes or pipes that have thawed and broke and we’ll be out to make some repairs.”

Bendewald’s number one tip is to check on your hose.

“That’s probably 90 percent of our calls is when somebody accidentally leaves a hose on and then it freezes the pipe, it breaks in the wall when it warms up, and then we have problems,” Bendewald said.

He agrees, “take care of your plumbing, it’ll take care of you.”

READ: How to prepare your car for upcoming cold temperatures