Winter is coming. The hot summer days are now but a distant memory. Time for the dreaded long dark nights and icy weather. The freezing temperatures may cause things to go wrong with your plumbing system. In fact, one of the most frequent winter damages that property owners experience is frozen burst pipes. We’ll be examining seven things that may go wrong. You’ll also learn how to deal with various issues. Let’s get started:
- Frozen Indoor Pipes
What causes indoor pipes to freeze? Well, if water temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, there is an increased risk of pipes freezing.
Water expands as it freezes, causing excessive pressure build-up that makes pipes crack or burst. After the ice thaws, the pipe may begin leaking water into structural components, increasing the risk of water damage.
There are several measures that can help prevent frozen indoor pipes in winter:
Consider insulating water supply pipes on exterior walls or unheated areas such as basements.
- Find air gaps and seal them, which improves your overall insulation.
- Promote warm air to circulate by leaving cabinet doors open.
- Ensure that your heat supply can cope with your home heating demands.
- Install pressure valves around water lines to ease pressure buildup during freezes.
So, what can you do in the unfortunate incident you have a frozen pipe after a really cold night? Well, get help from anemergency plumber in Chicagoimmediately.
You can also turn off the water supply from the main meter. Be cautious about DIY thawing techniques as they can further strain pipes contributing to long-term structural damage.
- Clogged Drains
Shortly after the official start of the winter season, you’ll celebrate the holidays with friends and family. This is the time of year that you have a lot of home-cooked meals. Coincidentally, it’s when drains have higher incidences of clogs. Chicago, IL emergency plumbers also see an uptake in the number of calls involving jammed garbage disposal units. So, how can you prevent clogged drains?
- Be diligent about what you dispose of down the drains.
- Food items such as grease, fat, leftover cooking oil, coffee grinds, or bones belong in the trashcan.
- Use recommended ways to clean kitchen drains.
Flush drains with hot water or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
- Septic Line & Tank Issues
Your septic lines and tanks are exposed to the elements. The main drainpipe may freeze, halting all flow of dirty water. Owing to the difficulties of monitoring the septic tank during winter, the tank may become full and go unnoticed. This may cause water to back up.
You can guard against frozen septic lines and tank problems by inspecting areas around septic systems for gaps caused by soil erosion. Check the tank level and have it emptied before winter. Prevent any soil compaction around the septic lines and tanks, such as driving over the area.
- Frozen Outdoor Pipes
Now, outdoor pipes are deep enough into the ground to prevent freezing. The common issue tends to be with frozen outdoor spigots, irrigation pipes, and sprinkler systems.
There are services that offer to winterize your irrigation system. With outdoor spigots, you can upgrade to frost-free bibs. You can also insulate supply pipes providing water to bibs. Another trick is to install insulated faucet covers or drain water from exposed pipes entirely.
- Strained Water Heater Problems
Lower water temperate increases the heating load on your water heater. During winter, hot water usage also increases for cleaning, washing, or cooking. Increased strain on the water heater may cause new problems or aggravate existing issues. Some common problems may entail leaks around the water tank, inadequate water supply, gas line leaks, pilot light issues, and more.
How can you prevent the hassle of trying to find a plumber to fix your water heater in the middle of holiday celebrations? Well, a little preparation can go a long way.
You can request a plumber in Chicago to perform a pre-winter inspection for your entire plumbing system and water heaters. Consider insulating the water supply line going into and out of the system.
If you’re having problems with an inadequate water supply, crank up the thermostat. Always call a plumber if you are experiencing any issues with the water heater. The earlier, the sooner due to increased demand for plumbing services.
- Sump Pump Issues
The sump pump is responsible for preventing basement flooding. It also pumps water away from the home’s foundation drain.
During drier months, it can be easy to forget about the sump pump. It can subsequently develop problems such as burn-outs, power loss, running non-stop, etc. Intake and discharge drains may also become clogged with debris, leaves, and other items.
Preparedness is the key to dealing with sump pump issues. You can perform routine maintenance in the fall. Schedule time to clean the sump pump pit or clear blockages from discharge drains and intakes. You can strategize to reduce water draining into the home’s foundation drain. Inspect basements to check if pits or pipes have frozen.
- Basement Flooding
Snow melts have the potential to contribute to basement flooding. Water may seep into the basement through undetected foundation cracks or blocked basement drains. Be proactive in preventing basement flooding. Consider strategies such as:
- Clearing the area around the basement by up to 5 feet during snow melts.
- Consider upgrading your sump pump if it takes a long time to clear the water.
- Avoid overloaded snow-laden roofs and gutters.
With these tips, you can effectively guard against common winter problems. Being proactive can help stop many issues.