Wintertime could get nippy in Utah. Yes, it’s not as cold as the Arctic, but it’s chilly enough that bundling up is necessary to enjoy the holidays. While the holiday season is perfect for parties, family time, and travel, the festivities and freezing temperatures also bring with them common wintertime plumbing issues. These could range from irritating to downright disastrous.
Fortunately, in most instances, advanced planning and prevention could go a long way towards avoiding these three most common winter plumbing problems.
Winter Plumbing Problem #1 – Clogged Drains
Although these are often year-round hazards, there are certain things that could increase the chances of your drains being clogged during wintertime — the holidays. Specifically, having lots of houseguests and cooking for all of them means that your plumbing would probably be working extra hard, notes an experienced plumber that also offers 24-hour drain cleaner services in Sandy.
This problem typically occurs due to the fatty foods and grease that go into garbage disposals and drains. To avoid this, prior to winter coming around, get your drain lines cleaned to get rid of any buildup. You also need to be smart about how you’re going to dispose of grease. For instance, instead of just flushing it down the drain, place it in plastic containers or tin cans so you could easily throw them away when you take out the trash.
Winter Plumbing Problem #2 – Faulty Water Heater
Lower temperatures mean that your water heater would be working harder so that it could keep up with the increase of your hot water needs. Although this might not exactly lead to overuse, it could easily trigger an early or sudden breakdown of your water heater.
Regular maintenance of your water heater is vital all year long, it is especially vital to come late fall before winter comes and during the winter season. This is especially true if your water heater is older than five years or is the typical tank water heater. That being said, get a plumber to do maintenance on your water heater even before the temperatures drop.
Winter Plumbing Problem #3 – Frozen or Burst Pipes
One of the most common causes of frozen pipes, which could lead to bursting later on, is the pressure that naturally builds up in the plumbing system. In typical weather conditions, the pressure isn’t really an issue, but once lower temperatures set in, winter plus cold air could equal to frozen water.
To help avoid this problem, make sure to insulate all outdoor and indoor pipes — even simple Styrofoam rolls would suffice. As an extra precaution on days with freezing winds or below freezing temps, let the faucet located on the highest floor of your house drip away to lower the pressure on your pipes.
The holidays should be filled with warmth, cheer, and relaxation, not clogged drains, freezing shower water, and exploding pipes. Check your plumbing system prior to winter setting in and address repairs as needed to avoid more costly repairs later on. As always, when in doubt, leave the job to the pros.