Tackling Winter Plumbing Issues

Winter. With its harsh weather, you should keep in mind that you aren’t the only one that suffers during the season–your plumbing does, too. Over the course of the year it’s easy to dismiss problems as “minor issues” that you’ll get to another day. However, when winter rolls in and not only is there a higher demand for certain features but wear and tear on your system from the rest of the year, you can run into some serious problems.

But you can save thousands of dollars in damage by knowing what to look for and preparing early–especially if you aren’t accustomed to areas that have both a warm and cold climate. 

Here’s a few of the common problems you may run into during the winter season, and how to remedy them.

Frozen Pipes

The big one that most people in cold climates are aware of. With most homes having metal pipes, it’s incredibly easy for cold air to freeze the water inside them due to the thermal conductivity of metal. 

When frozen, water expands, and this expansion can burst or even shatter your piping, causing some serious and expensive damage both inside and outside the home. Significant leakage and even flooding are strong possibilities when this happens, and if left unattended, can be a hotspot for mold and mildew. Restricted water flow is the first sign of frozen pipes, but you may also notice that household appliances that use water aren’t draining, bathrooms aren’t working properly, or valves aren’t turning on. 

So how do you treat this issue? The solutions are fairly simple. The first is to make sure your pipes are properly insulated if you can, and whether they aren’t or you simply want to take that extra precaution, another helpful tip is to leave a faucet to slowly drip in order to alleviate the pressure and water can flow freely instead of stalling. You can also increase the warm air circulation inside your home for interior pipes by opening cabinets.

Faulty Water Heating

After a long day in the chill, a hot bath or shower is often like heaven on earth. The last thing you want on a cold, bracing day is an equally as cold and bracing shower. But if you haven’t had your water heater checked in a while, that might be just what you get!

Winter is the most common time of year for issues with water heaters to crop up due to the high demand for hot showers, and heavy loads of laundry and dishes. Not only is it being used more often than other times of the year, but in order to keep the water in the tank at the correct temperature, it has to constantly work hard. 

The first signs of a problem here can be strange sounds coming from the heating element, or leaks around the foundation of the appliance. The best way to solve water heater problems in the winter is to not have them in the first place, so make sure to get your system assessed by a plumber before the busy winter season hits; they can check for parts that aren’t working properly, ensure your heater is properly insulated, and clean out sediments and minerals, saving you precious money–and a cold shock! For some better assistance with all your plumbing solutions, look no further than our website!