What to Do about These 3 Winter Plumbing Problems

Tap water

Plumbing problems are a pain to deal with, especially during the winter. See what types of problems are popular at this time of year and see how you can deal with them.

The Winter Emergency Fund

Plumbing problems aren’t cheap to fix. Ignoring these problems isn’t cheap, either. That’s why you should be prepared to cover the costs of small plumbing emergencies during the winter. 

Set aside some savings that you can use if you need to call a professional plumber or make some last-minute repairs. If you don’t have enough to handle the costs, you could look into Illinois personal loans as an extra safety net when something goes wrong. Something like a personal line of credit would come in handy for small emergencies because you can draw from the account and then repay it later. Sometimes, your back-up plan needs a back-up plan. 

1. Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a popular and inconvenient plumbing problem during the winter. When the temperatures drop, the water inside your pipes can freeze and create a blockage, leaving you without running water. 

What can you do? If you can figure out what pipe is affected, you can try to thaw it out. Start by turning off your home’s main water supply valve. Then, use a hairdryer to blow hot air on the pipe until the ice blockage melts inside. Whatever you do, don’t use an open flame to fix the problem. Every year, there are housefires from thawing pipes because the owners decided to use this dangerous strategy as a quick fix. 

If that doesn’t work, call a plumber.

How can you prevent frozen pipes?

  • Keep your home heated.
  • Add foam insulation to exposed pipes. 
  • During cold snaps, turn on taps and let the faucets drip.
  • Drain your pipes if you are leaving your home for more than a weekend during the winter. 

2. Burst Pipes

One of the reasons why you don’t want to ignore your frozen pipes is that they can break or burst, sending water all over your house. You don’t want to deal with a flooded basement in the middle of winter. See what you can do during major plumbing emergencies so that you can minimize the water damage — and the repair costs. 

How can you avoid burst pipes? If you notice that you have frozen pipes, turn the taps or faucet handles into the “on” position—it doesn’t matter that water won’t come out. The reason why frozen pipes burst is that the ice expands inside the pipe and creates a lot of pressure. The pressure keeps building and building until the material breaks. Turning on the taps will relieve some of that pressure. 

Then, you should try to safely thaw out the pipe as soon as possible. 

See Also

3. Broken Water Heater

You don’t want to deal with frigid water in the middle of winter. 

If your water is running cold, you should see if the heater’s circuit breaker tripped. The switch could be in the off position. Turn it back on and test out the water by turning on a tap. If the switch isn’t off, try to reboot it by turning off the breaker and then turning it back on again. 

If that doesn’t work, you need to call a professional right away. You might need new parts or a brand-new heater. 

Now you won’t get caught by surprise by one of these winter plumbing problems. You know how to handle them quickly and move on. 

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