Wisconsin winters are notoriously cold—less than 30 years ago, we recorded our coldest day in history at 55 below zero. When the weather reaches temperatures like that, plumbing issues are almost inevitable. At Steve’s Plumbing and Heating, we know just how inconvenient and potentially damaging winter plumbing problems can be. So, to help you recognize when you might be on the verge of a plumbing disaster, we’ve put together this brief collection of the most common issues we see. Take a peek and get prepared.
● Low Water Pressure
If your pipes aren’t well-insulated, water can freeze within them when the temperatures drop below freezing. One of the first signs of frozen pipes is low water pressure, so if you see only a trickle when you turn on your faucet, it’s time to call a plumber.
To prevent frozen pipes—and the tremendous home damage they can cause—always insulate exposed pipes from the cold. You can purchase foam insulation from your local home improvement store and secure it around your pipes with a bit of duct tape. An easy hour’s worth of work could save you thousands in water damage repair costs.
● Water Heater Malfunction
Ever heard of the polar plunge? That’s what you’ll be doing if your water heater fails this winter. The average water heater has a lifespan of approximately 10 years, so if you know your unit is nearing its end, replace it before it fails. Even if you know your water heater has a few good years left, it’s always smart to have it inspected for issues before your holiday company comes calling. If you’re not a fan of ice-cold showers, contact a water heater repair specialist to make sure your water heater is in perfect working order.
● Leaking or Bursting Pipes
It’s no secret that Wisconsin winters are ridiculously cold. Unfortunately, if you haven’t prepared your plumbing properly, frigid temperatures will do more than just freeze the tip of your nose. If your plumbing isn’t well-insulated or contains a clog, water can freeze within your pipes. When water freezes, it expands, and if the pressure becomes excessive, your pipes may burst.
Even less glamorous is a frozen pipe that runs toward your septic tank. When the weather is particularly cold, the ground begins to freeze, which puts pressure on the underground pipe that feeds your septic tank. Heavy snow cover provides a bit of extra insulation to keep the pipe from freezing, but if the ground is clear, your septic pipe may be in danger. To prevent frozen or leaky pipes this winter, have your plumbing inspected for weakness, and consider professional drain cleaning, too.
● Clogged Pipes
The holiday season is notorious for causing clogged pipes. Endless food preparation, parties, and houseguests put considerable strain on your drains and plumbing system. Combine that with the sub-freezing outdoor temperatures, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for drain clogs.
If you’re expecting company this holiday season, be proactive about having your plumbing inspected for issues. If found, minor drain clogs are easily remedied with professional drain cleaning. Many homeowners never contemplate the issue, but the last thing you need is an overflowing toilet in the middle of your Christmas party.
Got Winter Plumbing Problems? Contact Steve’s Plumbing and Heating
Winter is the worst time of year to suffer from plumbing problems; unfortunately, it’s also the most common time for them to appear. At Steve’s Plumbing and Heating, we know plumbing problems, and we also know that when you have an issue, prompt, professional, and knowledgeable service is key. Our team has over 85 years of combined experience serving homeowners throughout central Wisconsin, and we’re here when you need us, too. Day or night, our 24/7 team is here to provide high-quality, prompt, professional plumbing repair when you need it most. To learn more or to schedule your repair, contact our team today.