As the winter is at our doorsteps, we need to remind ourselves of the troubles the low temperatures can cause. Just as we are affected by the cold weather, our plumbing systems may also suffer if not properly maintained and prepared, especially in colder parts of the states, where temperatures drop below freezing. Everyone should get familiar with common winter plumbing problems to avoid potential troubles. Since even the smallest fracture, or insulation problem, can lead to complete failure of your water system. On the other side, with simple maintenance and regular inspection, you can easily discover the threats before they cause additional issues and expenses.
ESSENTIAL INFORMATION ABOUT COMMON WINTER PLUMBING PROBLEMS
Because of water inside the plumbing systems, pipes, drains, and even water heaters are vulnerable in winter. Fortunately, Keving Szabo Jr Plumbing professionals have a few pieces of advice for you. You will be able to understand what happens in extremely cold weather, what troubles it can cause, and what to pay attention to. Even if issues occur, you will know where to look for help.
From the experience of our skilled plumbers, here are some of the most common winter plumbing problems:
- Frozen pipes inside your home
- Problems with your water heater
- Winter problems with kitchen drains
- Frozen pipes outside your home
- Problems with outdoor drainage
- Issues with sump pumps
- Winter plumbing problems with your septic system
1. FROZEN PIPES INSIDE YOUR HOME
During the winter months, pipes that supply water to your home may freeze. This usually happens on the outer walls because they are not as protected as the inner ones, particularly on spots where the pipe insulation might not be as good as it should be. While preventing the water flow is not so dangerous, the real danger is coming from the ice. Due to its expanding nature, it may cause cracks, fractures, and deformation of your pipes. As a result, the water may leak, often in not so easily approachable places, like inside the walls themselves. Even worse, you may not even realize the real problem until it has already caused considerable damage.
To prevent this from happening, you have several options:
- Check insulation on your pipes before winter arrives
- Leave your faucets slightly open during the winter so the flow can prevent water from freezing.
- If possible, expose the pipes to the warmth from inside the home by opening the cabinets under the sinks
- Make sure your pipe system has operational valves to reduce the pressure
Remember, water damage can cause not only temporary but also long-term consequences. Any potential damage can have negative effects on the value of your property. Not only will you have to pay to fix the damage, but you will also need to repair everything ruined with leakage. If by any chance trouble occurs, your best option is to call professionals to fix the problem.
2. PROBLEMS WITH YOUR WATER HEATER
With more significant differences in water temperatures and potential increased usage during the holidays, your water heater will work harder in winter. If you already have problems with insufficient hot water, consider replacing it before winter comes. In addition to small repairs, depending on the type of the heater, you will also need to inspect the tank and all the pipelines. At least once a year, it’s necessary to completely drain and clean your water heater. Also, you will have to check valves, pipes, and insulation, especially if you live in a larger house. To prevent any eventual emergencies in the cold winter days, call your local plumber to help you with inspection on time.
3. WINTER PROBLEMS WITH KITCHEN DRAINS
The third part of the inner preparations of your plumbing before winter concerns kitchen drains. Just like the heaters, your kitchen sink and other drains in your home will be under additional pressure. People usually prepare food more often during the winter, especially because it’s the holiday season. So, you have to be ready and check everything to prevent clogging.
Some of the necessary steps to prevent problems are:
- Check your garbage disposal and drains and clean them thoroughly
- Avoid pouring greasy and thick fluids down the pipes
- Flush the drains with hot water even after cleaning
- Use stoppers to prevent larger pieces from clogging your sink
- Practice separating the garbage by using trashcans more often
Again, if you can’t properly clean the kitchen drains, call professionals to help you.
4. FROZEN PIPES OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
Those living in houses often have problems with outdoor water systems during winter, especially if they own a garden or water features. As you can assume, unprotected pipes can easily break during the cold winter days. That’s why it’s necessary to protect your hose bibbs, for example. For this purpose, use insulating covers and disconnect and drain them for the season. As professional movers from evolutionmovingdfw.com notice, this is a common mistake many people make when they are in a hurry while packing and preparing to leave their home for the winter holidays.
5. PROBLEMS WITH OUTDOOR DRAINAGE
Just like the pipes can freeze, so can outdoor drains. Because of the temperature changes, weak and vulnerable plastic components can easily break. To prevent it from happening, consider replacing them with metal counterparts. They have considerably less chance to break from temperature contractions. Also, don’t forget to clean the leaves and debris that often piles inside gutters. And make sure all the drainage is not clogged so water may drain when the snow is melting.
6. ISSUES WITH SUMP PUMPS
If you have a sump pump, make sure it is functional before winter arrives. Even if everything is alright, you should not forget to check it often during winter. If it is in the basement, maintain the temperature in the room to prevent freezing. Clean the area close to your foundation from snow so it doesn’t cause a flood in your basement. Also, don’t forget the snow and dirt that can accumulate on your roof. Clean them as well, so it doesn’t pose an additional threat once the snow starts to melt.
7. WINTER PLUMBING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM
Finally, you will need to check if your septic system is adequately protected and ready for the winter. This is easily one of the most common winter plumbing problems that can cause you a lot of unpleasantries. Even with the minor damage and leakage, the odor can take months to disappear, especially if the surrounding soil is soaked due to leakage. Ensure there is no erosion around your septic system, check if the plumbing is functioning correctly, and get a temperature isolating cover if you suspect it might be required. And, of course, make sure the tank is empty and ready for the winter. If you are not comfortable with these tasks, you should not hesitate to call a plumber to make necessary preparations and repairs.