The snow and the chilly temperature during winter can cause a lot of plumbing issues if you don’t take care. You wouldn’t want to have plumbing failure in winter, especially with the freezing temperature. That would be such a mess! There are ways to prevent plumbing failure and that is what we’ll be diving into below!
Ensuring the plumbing around your home or building is in good condition is one way to go through winter without hassles. Failing to maintain your plumbing system would lead to major issues. This often leads to a higher price point when fixing them.
The issues you have with your plumbing will affect your access to clean water. It could also affect your health. So, preventive measures during winter are important.
Common Plumbing Issues During Winter
Here are some issues you could have with your plumbing system during winter. These issues will arise because of the weather and increased demand for your plumbing system. Other times, it could be due to a lack of regular maintenance.
It is very common for your pipes to freeze during winter. Cold temperatures can make the water in the indoor and outdoor pipes freeze. The pipes with a higher risk of freezing are the ones in the attic and garage. The pipes in exterior walls, crawl spaces, and cabinets also risk freezing.
You can identify frozen pipes when you turn on your faucet and water does not flow through it. At other times, you might just get a trickle. When this happens, there is ice in your pipes.
It is easier for you to experience clogs in your drainage during winter. Food particles would accumulate in the kitchen drain and the frigid temperature could make them freeze and clog it.
Other debris like hair, soap scum, sludge still find their way into the drain. With the cold, these particles will solidify and clog the drains.
The pressure on your plumbing system can increase during winter. It is because you would spend more time indoors and use the plumbing system more.
Water heater malfunction
The sudden change in temperature during winter can affect your water heater and cause it to malfunction. Imagine having a cold bath as you return home during winter. It would be disastrous. After being in the snow all day, a warm shower is the least you can ask for.
The water heater works more during the winter than the other seasons in a year. You need it more because the demand for hot water increases with the drop in temperature. It can be inconvenient and costly to have your water heater break down during winter.
Having these tested and serviced once a year or once every two years can ensure you are working at maximum efficiency. This also allows us to find any issues before they become disastrous. Getting your hot water heater flushed each year will prevent any plumbing failure inside of your home.
Sump pump backups
The essence of sump pumps is to prevent flooding. Its job is to pump out excess water from your home or property. There could be a failure of the sump pumps during the winter, especially when you have not used them in a long time.
Having them thaw and hold extra water during winter is common. However, it becomes a problem when you notice your sump pumps are not functional. When this is the case, it will be a disaster if water enters your basement. It will cause flooding.
Water can also freeze in the sump pumps. When this happens, it will not drain efficiently and it would cause backups.
Freezing could make your old pipes leak. The leaks would happen when there are defects in your plumbing system that you did not detect earlier. It could also happen when you did not properly insulate your pipes.
Wondering why a lot of pipes burst during winter? Here is why.
It is a common plumbing failure in winter for pipes to burst. The extreme temperature makes the water in your pipes freeze. When this happens, the molecules of water expand, increasing the pressure in the pipe.
Increased pressure at a weak spot in the pipe will cause it to burst. When the burst pipe freezes, thawing it could cause flooding of your home or building.
Broken garbage disposals
If you have a garbage disposal as part of your plumbing system, a clogged drain would affect its functionality. The blades could jam and the garbage disposal would clog.
How to Prevent Winter Plumbing Problems
You can prevent plumbing failure in winter if you take proactive steps. Waiting for these issues to happen would cost you a lot of money. Prevention is better than cure, goes the adage.
Shut down your water valves
Before winter, identify the main valves in your home’s plumbing system. During winter, the need to shut it down might arise where there is an issue with your plumbing. You would need to know where the main valves are and shut them down immediately. The ability to act fast would make all the difference in preventing floods in your home during winter.
Your water valves need to be in good condition, especially during winter. Open them and shut them once a year to ensure they continue to function well.
Winterize the outside of your property
Prepare ahead of winter by clearing your drainage of debris. Clearing the gutters around your home or building before winter would increase the performance of the drainage system and prevent clogging.
Insulation will help you keep heat. Install insulation to protect your plumbing system during winter. Pipe insulations will keep the heat in your pipes and prevent plumbing failure by the pipes freezing.
Insulate both hot water and cold-water pipes around the home. Pay close attention to pipes in the crawl spaces, basements, cabinets, attics. They are usually the most affected during winter.
Check your septic tank
The water that runs through your building connects to a septic tank. The implication is that the water in the septic tank can also freeze. You need to check that your septic tank is in an excellent state ahead of winter to prevent any plumbing failure on the outside of your house.
You can check it out yourself and save costs. However, you need trained professionals to check the septic tank and line. It will be cheaper to maintain it than having a damaged sewer line in the middle of winter.
Regular maintenance of your entire plumbing system is very important. Before winter starts, check all your pipes and plumbing components. Ensure they are in a good condition before the pressure on them increases.In those rare cases when you couldn’t prevent any of these, call us. We’ll be there to give you a swift solution so you can go back to living your life and enjoying your plumbing.