Harsh winter weather and freezing conditions can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system. Did you know your pipes are at their most vulnerable during cold months? Here’s a look at some of the most common plumbing problems you might run into in the winter.
Failing Hot Water Systems
Water heating problems are a common customer service call for plumbers at any time of year, but they’re especially pervasive during the winter months, when most water heaters are working double-time to keep the water hot. Can your water heater keep up with the demand? Schedule a service appointment with The Pipe Medic to have us inspect your water heater before winter weather pushes your hot water system to its limits.
All homeowners hope they never have to deal with frozen pipes, but they’re a common household occurrence once the temperatures start to drop. Frozen pipes result when high water pressure from the plumbing main meets with consistently below-freezing temperatures. As frozen water expands, it can crack or burst your pipes, leading to flooding and water damage throughout your home.
If your pipes are at risk for freezing, consider leaving your tap open slightly to allow a drip of water to flow. Even small water movement may be enough to prevent freezing, though it will affect your water bill over extended periods. If leaving the tap open isn’t an option, or freezing occurs despite your best efforts, call us at The Pipe Medic for expert plumbing assistance.
Water Line Leaks and Breakage
Problems with the water line can result in severe damage to your home. Perhaps surprisingly, a common culprit in this case is frozen garden hoses. When homeowners leave a hose connected to the spigot during freezing weather, ice within the hose will gradually build up pressure in your home’s water lines that eventually results in leaks or even broken pipes. When you see a cold snap in the forecast, be sure to disconnect and drain all garden hoses and outdoor pipes.
Clogged Kitchen Drain
If you’re anything like us, you probably cook at home more often during the winter. When it’s miserably cold outside, the last thing you want to do is leave the house. Just stay home, bundled up in a cozy sweater, and enjoy a nice home-cooked bowl of soup.
While cooking at home is better for your health and your pocketbook, many home chefs improperly dispose of grease and food waste.
When you pour fatty or oily substances down the sink, they can accumulate into a sticky or sludgy mess inside your pipes, which can eventually prevent water from getting through – in other words, a clog. And if you’re lucky enough to have a garbage disposal, putting too many things in the disposal at once – or putting any fibrous materials in the disposal – can also lead to a kitchen clog.
Autumn is the time to make sure your pipes are ready for winter. Call us at The Pipe Medic for drain cleanings, water heater inspections and other preventive plumbing.