How Does Cold Weather Affect My Plumbing: Preparing for Cold Weather

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - January 23, 2019
person fixing sink pipe

As winter comes and the snow begins to fall, one of the most common concerns of Chicago homeowners is that the cold, icy weather will damage the home’s pipes and plumbing. While plumbing systems generally do not require intensive maintenance from a Chicago plumbing company during the spring and summer seasons, this is not the case during the winter, and extra care and consideration are necessary during this time.

This is because the sub-freezing temperatures can freeze water, leaving your plumbing system at risk of freezing over. Additionally, most people spend time indoors because of the unpleasant weather conditions, which means the water consumption in the household will likely increase in the winter—putting more strain on pipes, water heaters, and drains.

If you’re looking for more information on how to maintain your system over the winter season, take a look at how our expert team of plumbing professionals at Four Seasons Plumbing & Sewer provides proper maintenance for homes in the winter—and how hiring a Chicago plumber to service your system can prevent serious issues from arising in the future.

What Happens to Your Plumbing System in the Winter

As previously mentioned, wintertime can be tough on your plumbing system for several reasons. Here are the three most common problems that can wreak havoc on your plumbing during cold weather season:

  • Frozen Pipes: The outdoor temperature threshold of pipes stands at around 20 degrees, according to the University of Illinois Building Research Council. In Chicago, average lows of 20 degrees or lower can be experienced in the months of December to February. When left unaddressed, frozen pipes can burst and lead to other serious damages such as flooding and the growth of mold or mildew. Some of the signs of frozen pipes include the formation of frost on the exteriors of the pipe, minimal or absolutely no water coming out of the faucet, and an unpleasant smell in the sink.
  • Clogged Drains: During the winter, grease can solidify and create clogs in the drain. In order to solve this, pour hot water to prevent the grease buildup or totally avoid disposing of fats and oils in the sink.
  • Poor Water Heating: A water heating system in good working condition is crucial during cold winter days. If you want to avoid the frustration of discovering that the water heater is not running the way it should, hire a reliable Chicago plumber to inspect your system at least once a year to get rid of unwanted sediment that might have settled at the bottom of the tank. Also, another reason for poor water heating is the fact that water lines are chilled and the water that enters the heater is much colder and needs more energy to heat it up.

Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing System for the Winter

Below are some of the easy yet helpful tips to prepare your plumbing system for the cold weather of winter.

  • Identify the frozen pipes on your property so that you know where the problems lie.
  • Keep your faucets open, so water will flow when the frozen pipe starts to thaw.
  • Melt the ice on your pipes with the use of running water, a heating pad, a hair dryer, or a portable space heater.
  • Don’t leave your garden hose outdoors as water pressure due to the formation of ice in the hose may back into the water supply and lead to damage to the pipes.
  • Winter-proof your sprinkler pipes by reviewing the owner’s manual for your sprinkler.
  • Shut off the water and drain the lines leading to your swimming pool, pond, or fountain.
  • Avoid disposing of grease in the sink to avoid clogs in the winter.
  • Run your dishwasher overnight to reduce the stress that the water heater becomes subjected to.

Professional Help From Your Trusted Chicago Plumbing Company

Plumbing issues, if left unaddressed or inexpertly handled, can cause expensive damage to your home and property. Leaving your plumbing system’s maintenance needs to a reliable, expert Chicago plumber is often the best choice for homeowners hoping to protect their homes throughout the year.

For many years, Four Seasons Plumbing & Sewers has been a reliable Chicago plumbing company that offers a wide range of services including:

  • Emergency Plumbing
  • Leak detection and repair
  • Drain cleaning
  • Valve replacement
  • Water pressure
  • Water heater installation and repairs
  • Water filtration
  • Toilets, faucets, sinks, showers
  • Tankless water heater systems
  • Other plumbing services

Because we always put our customers on top of our priority list, we only hire the best professionals in the industry to provide excellent services, use top-quality products, and charge reasonable rates. If you want to learn more about Four Seasons Plumbing & Sewer’s services or are interested in receiving a fast in-home estimate, simply contact us via phone or email or fill out this quick online form.

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