Winter is the most challenging season of the year because of many reasons. One of them, unfortunately, also happens to be plumbing. The most common winter plumbing problems tend to be more severe and annoying to deal with than during any other season. Sometimes, not even being forewarned and knowing what the issue is could help you take care of it promptly! Thankfully, learning all about the most frequent problems can still come in handy in most situations. And we will share all such issues with you!
Any reliable plumbing contractor will tell you that frozen pipes are the most common winter plumbing problem. They are a particularly relevant issue if your home is experiencing problems with heating. Many troublesome risk spots are somewhat mitigated by the heating systems you might have in place. However, if those heating systems are down for whatever reason, you will suddenly face a lack of water. Of course, if a sudden cold snap hits and your outside plumbing is relatively close to the surface of the ground, the chances are you will experience some pipe freezing. It can be challenging to deal with such issues, especially since the typical method of applying your hairdryer or heaters to the pipe would unlikely be viable. You will, in such a case, need to rely on professionals.
Pipe leaks or cracks
A slightly more hazardous of the frequent plumbing problems during winter are burst or leaking pipes. In such cases, you might even need to look into storage services to make sure your belongings are safe while repairs are ongoing. The troublesome part is that leaks are caused by the cold making your pipes contract or even superficially freeze over. All the shifts and bending of the metal can become too much. That would cause either the pipe seals to loosen or cracks to develop. Depending on how severe such problems are, the damage to your property can become immense, especially if it happens inside a wall. You would need to immediately cut the water supply off from your home and call professionals to locate the leak and fix the problem.
Winter is a period when we spend an excessive amount of time indoors. Therefore, it should not surprise you that one of the most common winter plumbing problems is clogged pipes. This can happen for a whole host of reasons. Unfortunately, the most often encountered causes are entirely self-inflicted. During the holiday season, many people love to cook for themselves or their families and dump oil, fats, and similar leftovers into their sinks. Most people do not know that this can cause clogs pretty quickly, particularly when it comes to leftover fat from frying or baking anything. Similarly, it would be best if you didn’t dump bones or meal leftovers in large quantities. Or, depending on what you are throwing them into, at all. After all, you might end up having to replace your plumbing.
Due to the holiday season, winter is obviously a time when a lot of people have relatives over at their place. And this is not at all a bad thing! After all, the charm of the holidays is getting to happily spend them with family. However, this does mean you would be stress-testing your drainage system, which can cause all sorts of problems to pop up. With the increased sewage flow, what might have been initially a minor and unnoticeable leak in the ground could cause a disaster in your yard. Or your septic tank could end up full, which can cause anything from backflow to overflowing. And there is no reasonable way to foresee such issues until they strike.
Frozen septic lines or tank
This is similar to but genuinely much worse than frozen pipes. A frozen pipe means not being able to use water for a little while. A frozen septic tank or line means having to quickly call in residential plumbing services before your home is overwhelmed by sewage backflow. The worst part of the scenario is that there is literally nothing you can do other than flush piping hot water and hope that works. Of course, this can only do the trick if you catch the problem very early on. Otherwise, you would only be making the backflow of sewage worse than it already is.
Hot water issues
If you live in an area that typically has mild winters or if you have just bought a new water heater, you might find yourself facing one of the most common winter plumbing problems that stump a lot of people. The issue lies entirely in pipes. Namely, due to them growing extremely cold, water loses heat while traveling. However, since this is not typically an issue or because you are using a new heather and are unfamiliar with the optimal settings, the coldness of the water might come as a shock. Many people at this point assume that the problem is their boiler breaking down and call professionals. However, the first thing you should try would be bumping up the heat settings higher. Even if the water would ordinarily be much too hot to properly use, with the heat loss taken into account, it might just end up at a perfect temperature.
Now that you know about the most common winter plumbing problems, you should be a bit more prepared to react to them on time. Just remember that, during winter, the speed of your response is what matters the most. If you hesitate to contact professionals, you can easily find yourself with more severe problems at hand. For example, frozen pipes can quickly worsen into a case of burst pipes instead. Trying your best to fix things yourself is fine, but having them fixed swiftly by an experienced professional is better.