Avoid Cold Showers with These Smart Solutions to Winter Plumbing Problems

plumbing pipe being fixed with a red wrench

A hot shower first thing in a cold, winter morning sounds so good, doesn't it? That is until you turn on the shower and no water comes out.

This is precisely what would happen if water freezes in your pipes or any other type of plumbing problems that occur in the winter. These common issues might appear as simply another nuisance of the winter weather, but it can quickly escalate into something more complex.

Below, we've listed winter plumbing problems you need to prepare for and how to solve them.

Leaking Pipes

According to 1 Stop Mechanical Inc., when someone discovers a cracked line or leaking faucet, it has needed repairs for quite some time. In winter, though, water freezes inside your pipes. It can expand and put pressure within the pipes, causing breakage.

The solution to this problem is to winterize your plumbing system. Doing so takes a lot of steps and effort, so it's better if a professional does it. Basically, winterizing your pipes means getting rid of the water inside and putting antifreeze to prevent water from freezing and breaking them.

Frozen Pipes

High water pressure from the main line plus below freezing temperature equals frozen pipes in the winter. During cold months, water may not flow as well as any other season of the year. If you notice this happening, it might be a sign of a frozen pipe.

If you weren't able to winterize your plumbing system, keeping water moving helps prevent freezing. Do this by slightly opening each faucet and letting the water run. Pipes exposed in icy areas can also benefit from an electric heat tape or heat cables.

Water Heater Failure

To keep up with cold temperatures, your water heater has to work overtime in winter months. The toll this takes on your water heater sometimes makes it stop working entirely or not produce enough hot water.

To resolve the situation, you have to first identify if you use electric or gas water heaters. If it's the former, you have to check if electricity is being properly delivered to the appliance. The circuit break might have tripped, so you have to flip it back to on. If it still doesn't work, call a professional.

If you have a gas heater, though, check if its pilot light is on. If the pilot doesn't light, the thermocouple may be defective. If this happens, call the gas utility company to repair it.

Clogged Drains

Winter celebrations like Christmas, New Year, and Valentine's Day means plenty of food. Discarded food may contain grease, oil, and fats—things that shouldn't ever be in your pipes, especially on winter. These things congeal and, over time, will cause your pipes to clog and your drains to overflow.

Prevent this problem by using drain screens and avoid disposing of food into your sink. If your drain is already clogged, a mixture of hot water and dish soap may be enough to break blockages in your pipe.

Make use of these solutions so you can enjoy the season without your pipes giving you a headache. Don't let cold weather turn your winter wonderland into a nightmare before Christmas.