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Winter is here, and you know how cold it can get in Olympia. You’ve done your due diligence and winterized your water heater, but now you’re concerned about your pipes freezing.

You know they are an all too common and expensive problem, and frozen pipes are the last thing you want in the dead of winter. So how do you make sure your pipes won’t freeze during a cold snap?

Read on for some tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing in winter.


Frozen pipes are often the result of a lack of insulation. Water pipes in older homes run along uninsulated exterior walls.

Exterior walls constructed with plaster were designed to “breathe” rather than block airflow. Adding insulation to these walls compromises structural integrity.

Rather than insulate these plaster exterior walls, insulate your water pipes to prevent freezing. If insulation isn’t possible, electric heating tape works great on short sections of vulnerable pipe.

Keep the Heat On

A big misconception about pipes freezing in the winter is that it only happens in a cold climate or during a polar vortex. This is far from true.

While severe weather events cause pipes to freeze with more frequency, it can happen in any climate where the temperature falls below freezing consistently.

This is where your home heating system helps in your battle to prevent pipes from freezing. Keep your heater running during the winter months even when you’re not home.

Drain Outdoor Spigots

When you winterize your home in the fall, don’t forget to drain all your outdoor water lines and outdoor spigots. This is a key step for how to prevent frozen pipes.

These are the lines that feed water to your pool or sprinkler system. Any water left inside these pipes can freeze.

Make sure to shut off the water supply to these pipes after you drain them to ensure no water flows through them.

Keep the Water Running

Washington State winters don’t often see temperatures that drop below 34°F. A cold snap can hit unexpectedly.

If that happens and you’re not sure whether your pipes can handle the extreme cold, keep your indoor water running a trickle. Moving water won’t freeze.

This is a go-to strategy for renters who aren’t sure if their landlord insulated the pipes or winterized. While you won’t pay money for burst pipes, you’ll go days without running water.

As a homeowner, it isn’t great for the long-term. You pay for the water you use. It helps, however, in preventing pipes from freezing during an unexpected period of inclement weather.

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing? Call a Pro

The winters around Olympia can get very cold very fast. If you want to know how to prevent pipes from freezing, keep these tips in mind.

Better yet, call a professional. If you live in Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater areas, that’s us!

Olympic Plumbing Technology is here to help you keep your pipes from freezing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.