Watch Out for These Common Winter Plumbing Problems

Here are some of the most common winter plumbing problems to watch for and what to do about them.

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Frozen Outdoor Pipes

When the temperatures drop, the first plumbing issue to watch out for is frozen outdoor pipes. Frozen outdoor pipes can leak and burst, so even if you do not use them all winter, you may discover a lot of damage in the spring. To prevent your outdoor pipes from freezing this winter, winterize all of your outdoor pipes and spigots. To do this, disconnect and drain all hoses and protect pipes and spigots with pipe insulation. You can find a variety of inexpensive pipe insulation options at your local hardware store.


Frozen Indoor Pipes

Indoor pipes in unheated areas are at risk of freezing during the winter. A frozen pipe can expand and leak or even burst, leaving you with a big mess and a lot of water damage to deal with. Make sure that any exposed pipes in unheated areas like garages are insulated before the coldest temperatures hit. If you know a cold snap is hitting, you can also leave your faucets open just enough to drip a little overnight. The small amount of water running through the pipes will prevent them from freezing through the coldest part of the night.


Water Heater Failure

Your water heater has to work extra hard during the winter because your need for hot water increases. That means it’s more likely to fail during the colder months, and it’s no fun being left without hot water when the temperatures are well below freezing. The best way to prevent this is to get your water heater serviced annually in the late summer or early fall so that you can address any potential issues and make sure everything is running smoothly before winter hits.


Clogged Drains

The holiday season means gathering with family and friends. With that comes increased usage of plumbing fixtures and more cooking. This means that winter is when you are most likely to get a stubbornly clogged drain. Do what you can to prevent it by being mindful of what goes down your drains (no grease, oils, or food bits) and consider getting your drains professionally cleaned to prep for the season.

Need repairs or maintenance done this winter? Trust Butler Plumbing, Heating & Gasfitting!

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