Cold Wichita winters can affect your plumbing system in a variety of ways. Protect yourself as the temperatures drop by proactively preparing your home’s plumbing system for the months ahead. If you face a plumbing emergency, you can count on Eck Services to be there to help you make things right.
Regular Maintenance Is Key to Protecting Your Plumbing During the Winter
Homeowners who do not maintain and winter-proof their plumbing system, including pipes, drains, and water heaters, could face serious plumbing emergencies. It’s not uncommon for our technicians to get calls during the winter because of burst pipes, clogged drains, leaking water lines, or heater failures.
If your home’s plumbing is not regularly maintained, or if minor problems are ignored, the home’s plumbing becomes more susceptible to damage during the winter. The last thing anyone wants to deal with at 2 a.m. in the middle of January is a burst pipe. At Eck Services, we are happy to evaluate your home’s plumbing system, do preventive maintenance, and recommend steps you can take to winter-proof your plumbing.
Winter Weather and Plumbing Pipes
Frozen pipes are a common winter plumbing issue. As water freezes inside the pipe, it expands, causing a blockage. The blockage impacts water flow.
Eventually, pressure builds up in the pipes, causing the pipes to burst or crack, which can lead to destructive flooding in the home that will affect floor joints, appliances, furniture, and electrical wiring. In the aftermath of a burst pipe, you could have mold and mildew issues.
Frozen pipes are insidious, going unnoticed until it’s too late. Signs of frozen pipes include visible frost on your exterior pipes, unpleasant odors, or poor water pressure. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms during the winter, contact Eck Services right away. We will get our technicians out to your home and take steps to help you repair your pipes.
Cold Weather and Clogged Drains
Clogged drains are frequent occurrences during the winter. Most people know to keep food and grease out of their drains. However, no matter how careful you are as you wash dishes, particles of food or grease will find their way into the drainage system.
Anything that goes down the drain during the winter can freeze during extremely cold weather. This leads to severe blockages that can impact your home’s plumbing network. If the blockage is minimal, pouring hot water down the drain could alleviate the problem. If this is insufficient, you may require the assistance of a professional plumber to fix the issue for you.
How the Winter Impacts Your Water Heater
A water heater is designed to deliver hot water throughout your home all year. However, during the winter, the heater must work extra hard to combat inclement temperatures.
During the winter, your water heater is susceptible to wear and tear. If your unit is not maintained correctly, minor problems become exacerbated during the winter, leading to malfunctions or complete breakdowns.
Minimize the chances of being without a water heater during the winter by contacting plumbing professionals at Eck Services if you hear strange sounds from your water heater, your utility bill is very high, you notice insufficient hot water, you see water leaks, or there is rust or fluctuating temperatures. It’s better to catch a minor issue before the winter than have your water heater fail on you when you need it the most.
Protect Your Sump Pump during the Winter
When pipes are frozen, clogs can inhibit water flow. As the ice melts, your sump pump must go into overdrive to manage the increased water.
The best way to prepare your sump pump for winter and minimize the chance of backups is to do periodic checkups and annual maintenance on the unit. Turning on the heaters or opening the furnace vents in your basement could minimize the chance of your sump pump freezing.
Prevent a Freezing Septic Tank
As the temperature drops, plumbing parts and connectors of the mainline of your septic tank can fail. The contents could freeze if the septic tank is full, leading to a sewage backup.
If there is a sewage leak, you have contamination and water damage. Both will require the help of a plumbing professional. It’s better to have your septic tank annually maintained and repaired by the plumbers at Eck Services before winter sets in.
Prevent a Frozen Well Pump
During the winter, well pumps may freeze, preventing your home from getting an adequate water supply. This happens with greater frequency with jet pumps as opposed to deep well pumps since jet pumps sit inside the house or basement and have water in them at all times.
If a pump freezes, frozen components must be cleaned before water is restored to the home. When pipes freeze, cracks can form in the cast iron body of the jet pump well.
Don’t ignore these cracks, as they could inhibit pump efficiency and cause ground flooding. If you suspect a crack in the body of the jet pump well, reach out to a plumbing professional. We can help you address the issue and get water flowing again.
Tips to Protect Your Plumbing During Winter
Nothing can replace the value of having your plumbing system maintained and checked annually by professionals. However, you can do some small things to complement annual professional inspections.
Insulate and turn off outdoor water valves to prevent freezing pipes. Look for pipes in uninsulated areas of your home, such as outer walls or pipes underneath the house. Using foam or a towel to wrap them can prevent a plumbing disaster.
Maintain a warm temperature in the home. If you plan a vacation, you could be tempted to turn off your furnace altogether. This is dangerous for your plumbing and could lead to cracked pipes and water damage. You don’t need to keep your home as warm as when you are there, but a thermostat setting of around 55 degrees will prevent the furnace from operating unnecessarily while also protecting the plumbing.
Protect your drains and garbage disposal. Avoid clogging the drains by throwing away food waste and leftovers in the trash bin instead of down the drain. If you use your garbage disposal, turn it on before you dispose of scraps. Run plenty of water and keep it clean when it is not in use.
Expert Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC Services in Wichita
At Eck Services, we are proud to be the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC service company of choice in Wichita and the surrounding area. We have been an integral part of the community for more than 15 years and are proud to offer 24/7 emergency services. We offer fast service times and reasonable pricing. This led us to earn the Pratt, Wichita, and Kingman Tribune’s 2019 Best Electrician Award. We have multiple locations, our technicians are clean and courteous, and we demand nothing less than professional service.
Our services include heating
installation, repair, and maintenance. We offer porta-potty services, work on new construction and remodels, and even service ice machines. Contact Eck Services today, and let us be there for you during winter’s unexpected plumbing, HVAC, and electrical emergencies.