Icicles hanging from a frozen water jets, tube, yellow pipe. aged wall background. winter time concept.

3 Ways Cold Winter Weather Impacts Your Home’s Plumbing

The frigid cold temperatures and frozen precipitation of winter wreak havoc on just about everything around you. These disruptions to your normal day can also affect pipes and fixtures. There are three ways that the cold winter weather can adversely impact your home’s plumbing.

1. Frozen Pipes Crack or Burst From Internal Pressure While Thawing

One plumbing problem that comes with wintry weather is one you may already be acquainted with — frozen pipes. However, while the freezing water inside the pipes can cause damage, they typically burst when the water starts to thaw.

As the water thaws, the expansion creates pressure within the pipes. This interior pressure needs to be alleviated by turning on the faucets in your home.

If the pressure is not alleviated, it will push against the sides of the pipes and cause them to crack or burst. This issue then becomes an emergency that requires the assistance of a plumber as soon as possible.

2. Water Heaters Cannot Keep Up with the Household’s Demand for Hot Water

Another issue caused by freezing temperatures is that your water heater may not be able to keep up. Even if the thermostat is turned up, you still do not have enough hot water for your household’s needs.

This problem occurs when the cold air around the pipes cools down the water as fast as it is heated. When the water heater is unable to meet the demand for hot water, there could be an issue with the appliance itself. A plumbing professional can determine whether the issue can be repaired or the unit needs to be replaced.

3. Drains in the Home Are More Likely to Clog Up in Cold Weather

When the drain pipes in your house are subjected to freezing temperatures, they are more likely to slow down or even clog up completely. Just like water, any residue on the sides of the pipes will freeze.

If there are thick layers of oil, fat, and grease residues on the interior of the pipes, they will congeal and freeze. As they freeze, the residues will expand, causing a blockage in the drain pipes.

Even if the expansion does not completely block the drain, the narrowed opening will catch anything that comes through the sewer line. Since the wastewater becomes slowed or stopped, it could freeze. Have a plumber clear out your drains to help keep them open and less likely to clog up during winter.

The frigid temperatures of winter can cause problems with your plumbing. If you have problems with damaged frozen pipes, the water heater, or drain clogs, contact us at Jeff’s Custom Care in Waukesha, WI so that we can help you solve them.