Your home’s plumbing system is never at more risk than during the winter season. Extreme cold temperatures, snowfall, and ice buildup all put stress on your plumbing system. Educate yourself on the most common winter plumbing problems to minimize and prevent serious damage to your plumbing system.
3 Most Common Winter Plumbing Problems
1. Frozen and burst pipes
Frozen pipes are a common occurrence in Minnesota, caused by a combination of high water pressure and freezing temperatures. Water flowing through your pipes will freeze just like any other water. And when water freezes, it expands. If it expands enough, it can cause your pipe to burst. While the pipe itself may be frozen, there can still be water flowing inside the frozen walls of the pipe. When the pipe bursts, that water floods out into your home and causes serious damage within minutes. Make sure you winterize your plumbing to prevent frozen pipes and watch out for signs that you have a frozen pipe.
2. Hot water heater failure
Heating issues are the single most common reason for service calls during the winter season. Winter’s freezing cold temperatures places an extra strain on hot water heaters that makes them more susceptible to failure. The best way to prevent your water heater from failing when you need it most is to make sure the temperature gauge is set correctly. You want to make sure it’s set high enough, but not too high. A few degrees above or below 140° Fahrenheit is the sweet spot. If your temperature gauge is close to 140° but you’re still have issues with cold water, call your plumber. For gas water heaters, make sure the pilot light is always lit.
3. Water line leak or break
Leaks or breaks in your water line can cause serious damage to your home very, very quickly. During the winter, water line problems are most commonly caused by frozen garden hoses. What happens is that if you leave a hose connected to your water spout during a freeze, the ice that forms inside the hose can create pressure that builds up in your water lines. When the pressure becomes too strong, the line will form a leak or break. As part of winterizing your home, disconnect and drain all hoses before the first freeze. Use shut-off valves to drain any remaining water from your outdoor pipes. To further winterize your exterior plumbing, you can even insulate your outdoor spigots with faucet jackets.
If you experience one of these common winter plumbing problems this winter, call Bonfe right away at 612-206-3097. Our immediate emergency plumbing service will stop the problem in its tracks and minimize damage.