winter plumbing

30 Nov. 18

Top 5 Winter Plumbing Problems

For some reason, plumbing problems are more common during the winter. The sudden drop in temperature combined with people staying inside more may lead to additional problems with the plumbing fixtures inside or outside a building. Here are some of the things to look for when you are inspecting your property during the winter to find plumbing problems in the earliest stages.

Clogged Toilets

With the low wintertime temperatures, toilets have more clogs. This occurs because the water in the pipes underneath the toilet may freeze, making it difficult to flush the toilet. If your home or business doesn’t have adequate heating, then a clogged toilet is more likely. Flushing the toilet several times may dislodge the frozen clog, but you may need to use a rubber-tipped plunger to push the debris down the toilet bowl.

Frozen Pipe Underneath a Sink

You may notice that the sinks in a building aren’t draining properly, and this is likely caused by frozen water in the pipe. If a building’s water pipes are covered with wooden cabinets, then warm air can’t flow around the items. You can open the doors on the cabinets underneath the sinks in bathrooms and kitchens to prevent a frozen water pipe. However, if the pipe has burst, then it will require a replacement right away.

Malfunctioning Water Heater

Water heaters tend to malfunction in the winter for a variety of reasons, including having frozen intake pipes. Make sure to open the door of basements or utility closets so that warm air can circulate around a water heater. When you are noticing that there isn’t enough hot water each day, you may need to turn up the thermostat slightly. You can protect a water heater by placing a specialized insulating device over it, but if the appliance is leaking, then you must have a new water heater installed.

Broken Garbage Disposal

The holiday season is when many individuals use a kitchen’s garbage disposal, and if someone places the wrong items in the appliance, then it can break the blades or create a clog. Don’t place your hands or any objects into a garbage disposal because it can lead to an injury. When your kitchen’s garbage disposal unit is not functioning, you must contact a professional plumber for a repair.

Broken Sewer Line

The sewer lines that are underneath buildings and that extend through a property’s lawns are more likely to degrade in the winter. As the soil freezes on the lawns, the water and debris inside the sewer line can expand, leading to a rupture. You may notice a reduction in the water pressure in a building, or you may have raw sewage spilling from the building. Fixing sewer lines requires having specialized equipment, so you should contact a local plumbing company such as Woodbridge Plumbing Inc., located in Woodbridge, Va.