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Common Plumbing Problems in Winter

Winter brings more than just snow days and an excuse to curl up by the fire. During the winter months, there is more to think about than shoveling the driveway and keeping yourself warm. Your home’s plumbing becomes susceptible to a variety of problems when the temperatures start to dip below freezing. As such, you need to give it the attention it deserves to avoid any serious plumbing issues and costly repairs.

Here are some of the most common plumbing problems in winter, along with some tips on how to avoid them.

Water heater failure

During the winter, the demand for hot water increases. In addition to family members competing for hot showers, you also use it for different chores such as doing laundry or running the dishwasher. This, combined with the plummeting temperatures, can put a real strain on your water heater.

To prevent water heater problems, it is best to have it inspected before the cold weather sets in. Also, show your water heater some love by insulating it. Wrapping it in a special blanket and the pipes in foam insulation will prevent heat loss. Plus, it will keep the water 10°F warmer than the thermostat is set at.

Frozen pipes

This is one of the most common plumbing problems homeowners face in winter. Pipes that are located outdoors and in areas of your home that do not have proper insulation are more susceptible to freezing. In order to prevent your pipes from freezing, you need to take some precautions before the cold weather hits. Failure to do so may cause your pipes to burst.

¬†Insulate the pipes in the attic, crawlspace, and basement to prevent them from freezing. You can apply heating tape, foam rubber or fibreglass sleeves directly on the pipe. Heat can prevent pipes from freezing. As such, we highly recommend that you keep the heat on throughout the winter. This is especially important if you are leaving for a period of time. Set the temperature above 50°F. This is enough to keep the pipes warm and prevent them from freezing.

Water line break

Water inside the pipes tends to expand when exposed to freezing temperature. This can cause your pipes to crack or burst. This can lead to water damage and some of the costliest repairs you can deal with.

To prevent this from happening, we strongly recommend that you disconnect the garden hose from outdoor faucet and put away for winter. For added safety, drain the pipes and make sure that it is clear of water. Don’t forget to shut off the valves as well. This can save you from the hassle and expense of a burst pipe.