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How the Cold Weather Affects Your Plumbing Systems

The winter season can be problematic for many home plumbing systems. Plumbers often receive calls about clogged drains, leaking water lines, heater failures, and bursting pipes. It is not surprising because the typical plumbing network is vulnerable to damage when the cold months come in. The key is to take preventive steps to minimize, if not remove, all potential plumbing problems.


Winter and Plumbing Parts

Prevent any plumbing issues by anticipating them, especially when it comes to the following:

1. Pipes

The most common plumbing problem in winter is frozen pipes. The pipes become blocked because the water inside them has frozen due to the steep temperature drop. The blockage will stop, if not affect, the flow of water.

Water will consequently force its way out, creating pressure on the pipes. Ultimately, this will result in cracking or bursting, a water catastrophe that will mean costly repairs or restoration efforts.

2. Drains

Winter is a time when blocked drains are common, so it’s best to remember that food particles and grease shouldn’t go down your sink. If this happens, it can lead to severe blockages that can seriously damage your entire plumbing system. If the problem isn’t too severe, hot water can be poured down the drains to resolve any blockage problem. If this doesn’t work, you will need to call a plumber.

3. Water Heater

According to plumbers in Denver, frost can also cause damage to your water heater. Common winter heater problems include unusual sounds, rust, fluctuating temperatures, and leaks. As your heater handles hot water distribution to your home throughout the year, it is important that you maintain the unit properly by getting the services of expert technicians.

4. Sump Pump

When your pipes freeze, the clogs block water flow and cause backups of the sump pump. It usually happens when the frozen waters begin to thaw, and your sump pump has difficulty managing the strong water flow.

Sump pump backups can be avoided by preparing the equipment for winter. If you have basement heaters, this can be used to prevent your sump pump from malfunctioning.

5. Septic Tank

During the cold months, septic tanks and lines can also be damaged. It can lead to water contamination, particularly if the tanks spring a leak. This is a problem that requires professional assistance, although it can be avoided if you can have your tank checked by an experienced plumber before the cold season comes around.

Practical Winter Plumbing Measures

Consider the following to protect your plumbing from the dangers of winter:

1. Shut off the water valves after insulating them.

Turn off the water valves located outside your home before the temperature drops. This will prevent the pipes from freezing. Also, insulate your pipes by wrapping them in towels or insulation foams. This will help you avoid incidences of pipe cracking or bursting.

2. Do not lower your heating system settings.

It can be tempting to lower your heating levels if you are going to be away for a while during winter. This might be an energy-saving measure, but unfortunately, it can also damage your plumbing. The pipes could crack because of the low temperature and lead to water damage.

3. Do not clog your garbage disposal and your drains.

Clogged drains can be avoided if you throw away food scraps and leftovers into the trash cans. Dumping everything down the drain can only lead to serious problems.

Also, turn on your garbage disposal before disposing of any food leftovers. The unit has to be washed well and rinsed with plenty of water before it can be used again.

4. Insulation foams should be installed.

Insulating your pipes with an additional layer of protection can help prevent any plumbing emergencies. Insulation foams are quite easy to install and are also affordable. When doing the insulation, work on the pipes installed outside of the heated area of your home, including attics, basements, and outdoor hose bibs.

5. Check the drainage in your lawn.

Cleaning your lawn can prevent drainage clogs. Specifically, check your downspouts, drains, and gutters and ensure that these are free of dirt and debris and are running smoothly.

6. Get the right people to check your plumbing.

To effectively winter-proof your plumbing system, it’s best to hire professionals. They have the right equipment and the needed skills to complete the job.

Key Takeaway

Wintertime exposes many outdoor pipes to extreme cold. This makes them vulnerable to serious damage, but you can avoid this by anticipating the problem before it happens. Ideally, you should also come up with the appropriate solution, insulating your pipes so they won’t burst or crack.

Additionally, you should check your drainage, the septic tank, and even the sump pump to ensure that they are working perfectly. The cold months can bring a host of plumbing problems, many of which are too serious that you’ll have to get the services of professional plumbers.