7 tips to avoid frozen pipes during the winter

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Richard Beard, Utah State University Extension Agricultural Engineering Specialist shares these tips:

1. Explore various insulation options.
2. Cover pipes properly.
3. Prepare waterlines if you leave your home unattended during the winter.
4. In some situations, the location of a pipe makes insulation unpractical or ineffective. In such cases, electrical heat cables designed for use on pipes can be installed.
5. Be cautious when thawing frozen waterlines. If your pipes freeze, a plumber may be your best contact. If you opt to do it yourself, shut off the main supply line first, then open the faucet in the frozen line. Begin thawing at the faucet. Gradually raise the temperature of the pipe so the ice will melt.
6. Don't count on the running water technique. During cold temperatures, homeowners sometimes leave a faucet running to prevent the waterline from freezing. Although this technique will work, it wastes water and should only be done when other, more permanent methods can't be used. Also remember that hot waterlines will freeze, and seldom do people leave the hot water running.
7.Teach adults and older children where the main water shutoff is located and how to shut the water off. Being able to do this in the event of a water leak can greatly reduce the damage to your home.

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