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How Cold Weather Can Impact Your Plumbing

Winter temperatures can put a major strain on your home’s plumbing system. Failure to prepare for winter can lead to serious problems that can be expensive to remediate, such as clogged drains, bursting pipes, or a poorly performing water heater. Taking steps to get prepared for the winter will ensure you avoid these issues.

How Cold Weather Can Clog Your Drains

While foreign objects are the most common reasons for drain clogging, winter activities also put your drains at risk. Winter is the time when there’s much cooking and entertaining, so there are more instances of grease, coffee grounds, and other food particles going down the drain. When grease cools, it solidifies, leading to major clogs that can cost significant amounts of money to remove. Coffee grounds aren’t able to dissolve, so they’ll eventually build up and block your pipes. Food particles can also cause blockages since they can turn into a paste-like or floppy, fatty substance that will accumulate over time. Colder temperatures cause these substances to harden, making the clogs more severe.

Cold Weather Can Cause Bursting Pipes

When temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes are at risk for freezing. Pipes that are the most vulnerable are those in basements, garages, and crawl spaces. If you wake up on a cold, wintery morning and turn on the faucet to discover there’s no water flow, there’s a strong possibility that you have a frozen pipe. If this happens, you must call a plumber straight away to prevent further damage such as the pipe bursting.

Poorly Performing Water Heater

Water heaters are known to have performance difficulties during the winter months. Trying to get your hot water to desired temperatures when the weather is colder causes your hot water heater to work harder. The harder your hot water heater must work, the quicker it wears out and needs to be replaced.

Preparing for the Winter

Fortunately, there are preparations you can make to ensure the winter doesn’t negatively impact your plumbing. Make sure you never allow any food or grease to go down your drains. Scrape all of your plates, pots, and bowls into the trash before putting them in the sink. To ensure your pipes don’t freeze, insulate them. You can use insulation sleeves or foam. If possible, put a heat source near your most vulnerable pipes. Finally, have regular maintenance performed on your hot water heater to make certain it’s always performing at its best. Maintenance includes an inspection by a professional plumber that’s designed to spot problems and fix them before they become significant. Plumbers recommend that inspections be performed every two years.

With winter fast approaching, now is a great time to work with a professional team. If you need help with your hot water heater or plumbing system, call Flatirons Plumbing today. We’ll make sure you’re prepared so that your plumbing can survive the cold months ahead. Our highly skilled plumbers will come out to your home, inspect your plumbing system, and make recommendations where necessary. We serve clients in Boulder, CO and the surrounding areas.