How to Protect Your Plumbing During a Power Outage

While few and far between in the Pacific Northwest, power outages can have a negative effect on elements of your home far beyond your comfort. Plumbing and heating systems can be damaged during power outages, especially if the problem persists for several days at a time.

Modern homes with high-efficiency furnaces often produce excess condensation, leading to clogged vents and piping if cold weather is present. First, ensure no debris is present on your vents or pipes, including snow and ice. This is crucial - if debris is clogging the vents or pipes when power is restored, your system can shut down or malfunction.

Alongside finding extra blankets, clothing, flashlights, candles, and survival gear, take an extra few moments to switch off your heating system and hot water heater along with any other appliances that were running while the power went out. Once it kicks back on, these devices may malfunction or breakdown in extreme weather conditions.

If the electric company cannot guarantee power will be restored within a few days, it's critical that you do the following:

- Turn your home's main water valve to the OFF position.

- Switch off your breaker to your water heater and turn off any gas lines in your home.

- Open your faucets partially to allow excess water to drain from your system so your pipes don't freeze.

Remember, if you fear your plumbing may be in jeopardy this winter, contact a professional plumbing service like Pioneer Plumbing and Heating to get a plumbing and heating checkup for your home. The longer you wait, the worse the results will be when an emergency occurs, so call today!

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