Winterize Your Home Plumbing
As chilly temperatures arrive in Utah, it’s crucial to prevent your pipes from freezing, especially if you plan to leave town. Frozen pipes can burst, leading to water damage, mold growth, and even significant flooding in some cases. Avoid costly property damage and pipe repairs by winterizing your home plumbing with these tips.
- Insulate your pipes: Exposed pipes along exterior walls are the most vulnerable to freezing outdoor temperatures. Wrap these pipes with fiberglass or polyethylene insulation tubes. To ensure you buy the right size, measure the diameter of your pipes before purchasing insulation.
- Apply heat tape: As a further preventative measure, you can install heat tape under the pipe insulation. A built-in thermostat warms the pipes just enough to avoid freezing. Note that only some types of heat tape can pair with pipe insulation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent damage.
- Seal and insulate exterior walls: Do water pipes run through your home’s unconditioned spaces like the attic, garage, or crawlspace? Keep frigid air out by sealing air leaks and installing insulation. You can even run a space heater in unconditioned areas to keep the temperature just above freezing.
- Keep your thermostat on: Set the temperature no lower than 60 degrees, even if you leave town. Then, open under-sink cabinet doors when low temperatures are forecast to let warm air circulate around the pipes.
- Let the faucets drip: On cold nights, consider running a trickle of water from faucets located on exterior walls. You only need a slow, steady stream to prevent pressure from building up within the pipe and causing it to burst. This technique may feel wasteful, but it’s far less costly than paying to repair a burst pipe and the resulting property damage.
- Prepare your yard for winter: Remember to disconnect garden hoses and hire a contractor to blow out your sprinkler system before the first deep freeze. You may also want to insulate outdoor faucets with foam covers or upgrade to frost-free hose bibs.
- Turn off the water before leaving town: If you have travel plans this winter, turn the main water shutoff valve before you go. Then, open faucets around the house to drain your plumbing system. With no water in the pipes, there’s no risk of them freezing and bursting while you’re away. This technique can also protect your pipes if your furnace breaks down or the power goes out during subfreezing weather.
At Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we’re here to help you protect and maintain your home plumbing. We also handle plumbing emergencies, including frozen and burst pipes. Our team has years of experience getting pipes back in good working order, with a focus on permanent solutions rather than temporary fixes. To schedule plumbing services with us, please call 801-226-3033 if you live in Utah County, or reach us at 801-229-2665 if you’re a Salt Lake County resident. You can also contact us online with any questions you have.