FERNDALE, Wash. — Temperatures around the Ferndale area have become unseasonably cold and strong northeasterly winds, known by locals as the Fraser Valley Outflow, are forecast to result in even colder temperatures later this week.
With the cold comes the potential for frozen pipes and the resulting damage they can cause.
The following is a MFN story from February 4, 2019. Heeding this forewarning may minimize calls to City staff (and plumbers) this time around.
Ferndale area residents report low water pressure – an indication of frozen pipes
BY MY FERNDALE NEWS ON FEBRUARY 4, 2019 — City of Ferndale staff say they have been getting a lot of calls today asking about low or no water pressure in homes and businesses. City staff confirmed they are not doing any work on the water system or turning off water service to anyone at this time. Given the onslaught of high winds and temperatures in the teens, low or no water pressure is most likely the result of frozen pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
PEMCO Insurance adds one more bit of advice, disconnect outside hoses and cover outdoor faucets with a foam bib or cloth to prevent pipes from freezing and cracking. PEMCO officials say their polls show about 30% fail to do this.
If it is too late and frozen pipes have already been discovered, City staff say it is better to call a plumber than them. Once temperatures warm up and the pipes thaw, breaks in the pipes caused by the expanding frozen water can then leak and cause water damage.