Wintertime in Pennsylvania can be harsh. With the onslaught of freezing temperatures, bone-chilling wind gusts, and heavy snow and ice, several plumbing dilemmas can arise. Avoid the panic that a winter plumbing emergency causes, and protect your home from damages by learning to identify the signs of a plumbing problem before it becomes a disaster.
Common Winter Plumbing Problems
When these signs occur, don’t wait until it’s too late! The odds of your plumbing issue turning into a catastrophic and costly emergency increase if you skip annual maintenance and don’t rely on professionals. Watch out for these common problems and if you need assistance, know you can count on the experts at Fosh Plumbing & Heating Inc.
Broken Water Heater
As expected, your water heater works overtime in winter. The constant demand for hot showers, an abundance of laundry, and piles of dishes from holiday meals can take their toll on your heater. With all that extra wear and tear, it can lead to a breakdown, leaving you with chilly water, which is never fun. This is exponentially more factual if you’ve skipped annual maintenance or your system is old. A failing water heater will display specific signs like inconsistent water temperatures, loud noises, and leakage around the base. If you notice any of these signs, act fast and call your plumber immediately.
Even though it may be cold outside, you’ll likely be warming up inside with your favorite holiday foods. Your kitchen will probably be getting a workout, including your drains. Food waste, such as grease, coffee grinds, and bones, should never make its way down the drain. Food debris sticks to the side of your pipes and builds up over time, causing a clogged drain. Ensure you and your guests dump all food and cooking waste in the garbage to avoid this mess. If you think you have a clog, pick up the phone and contact a professional.
One of the most common winter plumbing problems is frozen or burst pipes. Poorly insulated pipes found in basements, garages, crawlspaces, or inside a cabinet all can freeze. A frozen pipe has the potential to burst, which can cause an expensive plumbing emergency. To ensure this never happens, wrap exterior pipes in insulation and turn off the valve to the outdoor water line. If you’re experiencing gentle or unpressurized water flow from your shower or faucets, your pipes could already be frozen. If that’s the case, turn off your water immediately and call a professional.
Sump Pump Issues
It’s no surprise to anyone in Pennsylvania when a bout of beautiful (almost warm) weather follows a severe winter storm. Because of this, your sump pump is working overtime due to the melting ice and snow. A sump pump can freeze or backup during the winter months, causing a costly cleanup and extensive flooding in your basement. Avoid this problem by keeping up with scheduled maintenance during the spring, summer, and fall months.
When the temperatures begin to rise, the snow that accumulated begins to melt. If your home has poor drainage or cracks in the foundation, this could lead to a flooded basement. Be proactive before the temperatures drop. Clean your entire gutter system and inspect outdoor drainage. If you notice cracks, have them fixed, and when the snow starts to fall, clear away at least five feet from your home. It’s also a good idea to remove heavy snow from your roof to avoid leaks or a heavy load on your gutters.
Be on the lookout for these tell-tale signs of a plumbing problem this winter. Many of these issues can be avoided with preventative maintenance and proactivity. If you suspect something is amiss, connect with Fosh Plumbing & Heating Inc. and our top-rated local plumbing services today.