Even though British Columbia experiences some of the mildest weather in Canada for much of the year, it is still possible for Vancouver residents to experience frozen plumbing pipes. When that happens, a whole host of problems can arise. If your pipes are not properly protected and dips in the mercury, they can freeze or, much worse, burst. Fortunately there are things that can be done to avoid those problems or at least lessen the likelihood that they will occur.
First, it's a good idea to keep your thermostat high enough that the pipes stay warm. This is particularly important if you are going to be away from home for a few days. It's also a good idea to have a neighbour keep an eye on your house while you are away to ensure that your pipes are not in danger of freezing or bursting. No one wants to come home to a burst pipe!
You can also insulate your pipes (or have a plumber do it for you) with protective wrapping materials that will protect your pipes in the event of a sudden dip in the weather.
It's important to ensure that your pipes are in good repair. Corroded pipes or those with holes or other weak spots can compromise not only the functioning of the pipes but also their ability to fend off the cold and its potential to cause adverse effects on your plumbing system.
Having regular inspections of your plumbing system can also go a long way toward avoiding frozen or burst pipes. Schedule an annual appointment with a reputable plumber, before winter hits. They can use a sewer pipe video scope Vancouver residents, and other tools to inspect your system and look for issues. These inspections can bring to light any repairs or replacements that need to be done to your pipes before the cold weather comes. Once the inspection is complete, the plumber can make the necessary repairs in advance of the cold weather.
If you do experience frozen pipes, don't try to de-ice them yourself. Although some people believe that using torches or even hair dryers to melt the ice on pipes is a good at-home solution, doing so can actually start a fire. Don't take that risk. Instead, call a plumber. They have the necessary de-icing equipment and safety gear to get the job done effectively and with minimal risk. Frozen pipes are usually considered an emergency situation, so you shouldn't have to wait too long for help to arrive. Even if you do have to wait a little while, it's better to deal with the inconvenience of being without water for a while than it is to potentially cause a fire.
A proactive approach to protecting your pipes from freezing is always the best way to go. Don't assume that winter won't be cold enough to burst your pipes. It can. Even in newer homes it's possible for pipes to yield to the ravages of winter, causing all kinds of problems. Get ahead of the issue before winter and give yourself the best chance of surviving until spring without incident. You don't want to be stuck in the middle of winter with no running water!