How Cold Weather Can Cause Plumbing Issues

How do I prevent the cold temperature from effecting my plumbing? You can do several things, but first, you must know what causes plumbing issues in the winter. During winter, temps rarely rise above 34 degrees Fahrenheit. With the snowy conditions added to these temps, many plumbing issues can occur.

What Causes Plumbing Issues in the Winter?

Cold weather plumbing issues can wreak havoc on your household. When temperatures are below freezing, it can result in frozen water pipes. You can then end up with a leaking water line or a pipe that bursts. Additionally, your septic tank may also even burst if there is snow on the ground.

Rust may also develop if you live in an area that uses hard water. This causes sediment to accumulate in the water heater tank. It can then turn into rust, which is going to be a lot more difficult to eliminate during the winter months. This can cause you and your household to deal with water that is contaminated. This water may even be consumed, besides using it for cooking and bathing. These are all issues that result from the cold weather that winter brings.

Preventing Winter Plumbing Issues

Sometimes, it can seem difficult to prevent plumbing issues during the winter. But, there are several simple precautionary measures you can take that may prevent problems from occurring in the first place, including:

  • Turn down water heater temperature – Upon installation of a new water heater, the temperature is typically programmed around 170 degrees Fahrenheit. But, many homes do not need too much pressure and heat. During the winter, you can turn the temperature to anywhere between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep leaks and bursts from occurring.
  • Keep pipes insulated – If you insulate your pipes, you will see a reduction in your water bill. Not only that, but this will prevent your pipes from freezing. Don’t forget to insulate all the pipes under your bathroom and kitchen sinks, crawl spaces, and garage.
  • Drain the water out of the swimming pool – You must drain the water from your swimming pool if you have one. While you are at it, don’t forget to drain the sprinkler supply lines as well.
  • Use pipe sleeves – You can also use heat cables or heat tape on your pipes. If you are on a budget, you can try using newspaper to ensure the insulator remains dry.
  • Let water drip in the faucet – This method will prevent your pipes from freezing when the temperatures outside plummet.
  • Shut off the water supply – If you turn off the water supply in your home, this will help reduce pressure in your plumbing system.
  • Contact a professional – Don’t forget to reach out to a professional plumber to move outdoor pipes. This will also help prevent issues because they will not be exposed to harsh winter conditions.