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Cold winter weather doesn’t just affect your heating system—it can also take a toll on your plumbing. By following these seven winter plumbing tips, you can prevent broken pipes, water damage, and high water heating bills.

  1. Insulate exposed plumbing: Any pipes running along exterior walls or through unconditioned spaces are vulnerable to freezing this winter. Help prevent this by wrapping exposed pipes with fiberglass or polyethylene insulation tubes. You can also install heat tape, which warms the pipes just enough to prevent freezing. Be aware that only some heat tapes are compatible with insulation, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Maintain your water heater: This appliance needs some attention, especially this time of year when it works hardest. At a minimum, perform a mini-flush to remove sediment from the bottom of the tank. Better yet, hire a plumber to service your water heater, install an insulation jacket, and make any necessary repairs.
  3. Winterize your outdoor faucets: Disconnect garden hoses and store them for the winter. Then, hire a contractor to blow out your sprinkler system. You may also want to install frost-free hose bibs or shut off the water to your outdoor faucets.
  4. Find the main water shutoff valve: It’s wise to know where the water shutoff valve is located in case your pipes leak or break. Depending on your plumbing system configuration, you might find it in your home or buried near the property line.
  5. Turn off the water when you leave town: You can shut off water to individual appliances and fixtures, but the safest bet is to turn the main shutoff valve. Once you do, remember to open a few faucets to drain the plumbing system. This way, you don’t have to worry about leaks or frozen pipes while you’re out of town.
  6. Keep your home warm: Set your thermostat no lower than 60 degrees at all times, even if you go on a trip. Then, open under-sink cabinet doors when frigid temperatures are in the forecast to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  7. Let the faucets drip: Another suggestion for bitterly cold nights is to let your faucets drip slightly. A slow, steady trickle is all it takes to prevent pressure buildup that could cause a pipe to burst if it happens to freeze. This may feel like a waste of water, but it’s far less costly than paying to repair a burst pipe and the resulting water damage.

If you need help with your plumbing system this winter, turn to Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for help. We have over 40 years of experience providing unparalleled customer service and quality plumbing repairs and installation. Our team is dedicated to your satisfaction and strives to do it right the first time. To schedule plumbing services, please call 801-226-3033 for Utah County residents or 801-229-2665 if you live in Draper or Sandy. You can also contact us online with any questions you have.

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