How to Avoid Common Winter Plumbing Problems

10 Dec

As the dreaded winter approaches in Ontario, new plumbing issues are bound to arise. Here are some of the most common plumbing problems you are likely to encounter in the winter season and what simple steps you can take to avoid them.

The Most Noticeable Plumbing Issue: Frozen Pipes

Many people will notice frozen pipes as one of the first plumbing issues resulting from winter weather. Frozen pipes can get in the way of daily habits like showering, washing dishes, or anything that requires plumbing. As a simple precaution, be sure to turn on the faucet and let it just trickle. A bit of movement may avoid any freezing within the system and the chances for any bursting pipes.

You can also get in touch with our team at Brothers Plumbing to find out what you can do about frozen pipes in the winter. If the damage has already been done, we can help you correct this problem before it gets even worse and more expensive to fix. 

Damage to Your Water Heater 

The winter weather can also cause problems for your water heater. Due to the outdoor temperatures, the water in your heater is especially cold, which can make it more challenging to access hot water for a shower or bath. 

To prevent further damage to your water heater, pay attention to how it functions and try to use as little hot water as you can. You can also adjust the heater’s thermostat to put less pressure on the water heater. If you still see significant problems, be sure to contact one of our qualified professionals at Brothers Plumbing. 

Clogged and Damaged Drains

Drains can get especially clogged during the holiday season since people may be cooking more than usual or spending time inside with your family. Food particles and other debris will end up clogging your drain, but the damage can get worse if left over time. One excellent preventative measure is to use a drain cover and to keep larger scraps of food away from the sink.

Also, outdoor drains are more prone to damage when there is much rain and snow. Water gets blocked and doesn’t drain correctly, or it gets clogged in the drain and then freezes. If you run into this issue, call a plumbing professional before it gets worse. 

Septic Tanks

Septic tanks can also be the source of many plumbing disasters; that’s why they must be emptied regularly. When septic tanks get clogged, they can cause damage to your yard and entire plumbing system. 

Pumping your septic tank can be challenging during winter because the freezing temperatures make it a more dangerous and tricky task. We suggest that you do not tackle issues with septic tanks on your own, as the repairs can be expensive. If possible, schedule a septic tank pumping in the fall, or ask our team to inspect it.

Broken Water Lines

Broken water lines can end up costing a lot of money and be a hassle to repair. There are many steps you can take to avoid water lines issues, like unplugging garden hoses. This one step could prevent significant water line problems that become expensive and more difficult to fix.

Pipes in Outer Walls

Since many plumbing fixtures are installed in your house’s outer walls, it can create problems in the winter months. When the temperature starts to drop, pipes are prone to freezing and potentially bursting.

When pipes are used more regularly, they are less likely to freeze. However, during the night, plumbing issues may occur, and a leak may not be as noticeable. Our team at Brothers Plumbing would be happy to inspect your pipes in the wintertime to ensure that you don’t have any issues that could ruin your holiday season. 

Exterior Plumbing

When spring arrives, much of the damage that happens to plumbing in the winter may come to light. If you have water valves, sprinkler systems, or hoses that were not adequately prepared during the winter, your exterior plumbing could become problematic.

To avoid any winter plumbing issues with exterior plumbing, make sure they are well-insulated to prevent damage from winds or wet weather. Extreme weather conditions can damage valves and pipes, so you can protect them with pipe wraps or screens. You can also box around exposed plumbing. However, if you aren’t sure what to do and how to insulate your exterior plumbing, our team at Brothers Plumbing will guide you or put preventative measures in place.

Simple Steps to Avoid Winter Plumbing Problems 

Now that you are familiar with some of the most common winter plumbing problems and have solutions for each specific one, here are some general tips that should keep minor plumbing problems at bay:

  • Make sure your thermostat is above 13℃ or 55℉ 
  • Provide insulation for your water heater
  • Check on outdoor drains and make sure they are always clear  

However, you don’t want significant or emerging plumbing issues to get too out of hand. That way, you can avoid expensive plumbing bills or hassles.

Get in touch with the team at Brothers Plumbing today for your winter plumbing needs. We have been in business for over 50 years and have helped our clients in the GTA solve all sorts of plumbing issues. Call us at 888-950-4276 to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members. 

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