How Cold Weather Affects the Plumbing System

How Cold Weather Affects the Plumbing System

   “Winter will soon be here, the snow will start falling. While some people enjoy the idea of a “White Christmas,” many homeowners understand that this time of year can wreak havoc on plumbing. “

Common Winter Problems

Extreme cold puts your pipes at risk, which can lead to costly repairs and inconvenience. Water consumption also increases during wintertime, because people tend to spend more time in their homes (and host holiday guests). The added load on pipes, drains, and the water heater can strain the system. 

“The plumbing system requires less maintenance and attention during summer and spring, but winter brings more complex issues.”

1. Frozen Pipes – When the temperature starts to drop, homeowners need to be on alert for any signs of frozen pipes. This common winter plumbing problem can result in some serious damage. Look out for:

  • Frost forming on the exterior of a pipe
  • Little or no water coming from the faucet
  • An unpleasant odour in the sink

When ignored, the pressure created by frozen water inside a pipe can build and can potentially cause the pipe to burst. The resulting water/flooding may damage furniture, carpets, floor joints, and appliances. It also increases the likelihood of mould and mildew growth.


2. Poor Water Heating System – It can be quite frustrating to wake up on a cold winter morning only to discover that the water heater is not working. Having a good working water heater is absolutely crucial during frigid temperatures. Have a professional plumber check your system once a year and remove any sediment that settled the bottom of the tank.

3. Clogged Drains – Grease collected inside a drainage pipe can solidify during cold weather. Blockages prevent water from running freely, and can be prevented by pouring hot water down the sink drain to dissolve buildup. Keep fats and oils away from the kitchen sink, and never dispose of them in the toilet.

If you have plumbing issues requiring immediate repair this holiday season, please call Island Plumbing and Mechanical at (250) 721-1116. Better yet, let us check your system before problems arise and save you emergency costs and repairs.

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