Plumbing problems can happen any time of the year, but there are certain plumbing issues that are more common when the weather turns chilly.
Below are some of the most frequent winter plumbing issues we see in central Pennsylvania:
- Frozen pipes. We say it again and again, but it’s worth repeating: Insulate your pipes and remove hoses from outdoor faucets. Each year, we fix hundreds, if not thousands, of burst pipes. Many of them can be avoided.
- Clogged drains. Yes, we deal with clogged drains throughout the year, but it seems like the holidays bring more problems in this area. Is it because we’re all making more food (and sending the remnants down the drain)? Is it because we tend to have more visitors to our homes? Whatever the reasons, clogs are definitely common.
- Hot water issues. People certainly have a tendency to take longer hot showers when the weather outside is “frightful”. This can cause a lot of use for the hot water heater. A good rule of thumb is to allow it to rest between uses rather than running it constantly. (Yes, it’s supposed to last for years, but why work it to the bone?) Of course, you can also limit the length of showers.
- Dishwasher disposal breakdowns. Again, a lot of cooking happens during the winter. This means the disposal is working overtime. Unfortunately, many people toss items into the disposal (e.g., loads of grease, banana peels, meat gristle) that should never be thrown into the drain in the first place.
- Sump pump drainage line blockages. If you have a sump pump, you need to make sure its drain is clear of snow, ice and debris. Otherwise, it can back-up into the house and cause a big mess.