With winter upon us, it’s important to stay warm above all else. However, as a homeowner, you know you have a lot of things to worry about. In addition to regular maintenance and repairs for your comfort system, it’s important to note the effects that winter can have on your plumbing system, too. It’s easy to make the connection between our furnace or energy efficiency and the temperature outside, but winter can also wreak havoc on your plumbing system in multiple ways. Keep reading to find out what lower temperatures means for your system, and how you can prevent problems.
Frozen pipes are one of the worst problems that you can have in the winter time. It happens when cold temperatures and drafty areas in your home cause uninsulated pipes to freeze. These can prevent you from using water in multiple parts of your home and lead to burst pipes, prompting expensive repairs.
To prevent frozen pipes, make sure that any pipes are insulated and that you add extra insulation where it’s needed around the home. You can also drip water through your system, which will prevent freeze with running water.
If your pipes are already frozen, you may be able to unfreeze them with a hair dryer or another heat source. However, you should be extremely cautious as using electrical items around frozen pipes that can cause fire and electricity hazards.
Burst pipes are often the result of frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands. This extra pressure could cause pipes to burst, which is a plumbing disaster that you’ll pay for dearly. You can prevent burst pipes by making sure your pipes are insulated and taking steps to prevent them from freezing.
The freeze/thaw cycle can also cause problems with water and sewer main lines. A burst sewer line could cause clogs and backups inside your home. By contrast, a burst water main could bring contaminated water into your home
With the decrease in outdoor temperatures, your water heater could be working overtime to keep up with the demand. This could lead to a number of issues with your water heater including breakdowns of parts and pilot light problems. Contact a trained plumber for diagnosis and repair of any winter water heater problems – this is the worst time to lose your hot water!