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Serving the Olympia, WA area since 1994



Beware These Common Winter Plumbing Woes

Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 11:00 am

Icicles hanging from a brown pipe. Frozen water and metal surface, winter time concept. selective focus shallow depth of field photoThe chilliness of winter brings with it a number of problems when it comes to maintaining indoor comfort, particularly if you have a malfunctioning heating system. But heaters aren’t the only parts of a home that run into problems when temperatures get too chilly. And though we don’t usually experience the same freezing temperatures as other parts of the country, it has been known to happen—and it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and try to avoid common winter plumbing problems.

Our Yelm, WA plumbing professionals are familiar with all the winter plumbing problems that might affect you, and how to help correct them. But we’d like to give you some info about the most common of these winter issues so you’ll know how to keep a watch for them, and possibly even avoid them.

Frozen Pipes

As we alluded to above, this isn’t as common a problem in our part of the country as it is in other areas, but still a major winter concern when it comes to household plumbing. Pipes that aren’t insulated properly or are in areas that aren’t well heated are in danger of freezing on our chillier nights.

If you encounter problems with your home heating system, such as a furnace breakdown, there’s an even higher likelihood of this occurring. Frozen pipes do more than just block your water flow. They create the risk of a lateral burst along the pipes, due to the spike in water pressure.

If you find yourself facing frozen pipes, shut off your water main immediately to lower the pressure in your plumbing system, open up all your taps to allow excess pressure to escape, and give our plumbing pros a call. Do not try to thaw the pipes on your own—this is actually when the pipes are at the highest risk of bursting and you can really injure yourself.

Water Line Break

This is related to frozen pipes, too. If standing water freezes inside pipes, it increases the pressure, as we described above. If this happens within your main water line, then that line can break or burst. The best way to prevent this is by making sure you have pressure relief valves professionally installed at the right locations along your water line.

Failed Water Heater

Water heaters are at a higher risk of failure during winter for many reasons. For instance, hot water use is much higher during the cold months. But, there’s also the issue that the water entering your water heater is colder than during the rest of the year, and the system has to work harder to warm it up to the desired temperature.

This shouldn’t be a problem for a brand new and/or well-cared-for water heater, but if your water heater is aging (around 15 years old) or you haven’t had maintenance done on it for over a year, then this is certainly a winter plumbing problem to watch out for.

Whatever plumbing problems you run into this winter, you can count on our team to help you resolve them quickly and effectively. Contact Brooks Plumbing Co. today!

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