Common Winter Plumbing Emergencies and How to Handle Them

27 Dec. 23

Common Winter Plumbing Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Winter can be magical with its cozy fires, hot cocoa, and glistening snow. However, it can also bring about some not-so-magical moments regarding your plumbing. As temperatures drop, your pipes, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures can become vulnerable to various issues. Keep reading because we will discuss some common winter plumbing emergencies and provide valuable tips on handling them, ensuring a warm and stress-free winter season.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most frequent plumbing problems during the winter months. When water inside your pipes freezes, it expands, creating immense pressure. This pressure can cause pipes to burst, leading to significant water damage in your home.

How to Handle Frozen Pipes:

  1. Shut Off the Water: The first step is to turn off the main water supply to prevent water from entering the frozen pipe further.
  2. Thaw the Pipe: You can use a hairdryer, heat lamp, or even a space heater to gently thaw the frozen section of the pipe. Start from the faucet end and work your way towards the frozen spot.
  3. Open Faucets: While thawing, open the faucet associated with the frozen pipe to allow water to flow out once it starts melting. This will help relieve pressure and prevent bursts.
  4. Call a Professional: If you’re uncomfortable or unable to thaw the pipe yourself, or if it has already burst, immediately call a licensed plumber like Arco Plumbing.

Burst Pipes

Frozen pipes can lead to burst pipes if not addressed promptly. When a pipe bursts, it can result in a massive water leak and extensive water damage to your property.

How to Handle Burst Pipes:

  1. Turn Off the Water: Turn off your home’s main water supply immediately.
  2. Drain Faucets: Open all the faucets in your home to allow water to drain from the plumbing system, relieving pressure.
  3. Call a Professional: Contact a licensed plumber like Arco Plumbing to assess the damage, repair or replace the burst pipe, and restore your plumbing system.

Blocked Drains

Winter can be especially harsh on your drains as the cold weather can cause grease, soap scum, and other debris to thicken and block your pipes. This can lead to slow drains or complete blockages.

How to Handle Blocked Drains:

  1. Use a Plunger: A plunger can often do the trick for minor clogs. Make sure to use a plunger specifically designed for sinks or toilets, depending on the blockage location.
  2. Try a Drain Snake: If plunging doesn’t work, a drain snake or auger can help break up and remove the blockage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  3. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners: While tempting, chemical drain cleaners can harm your pipes and the environment. It’s best to use mechanical methods or call a professional plumber.
  4. Call a Professional: For persistent or severe blockages, it’s wise to consult a professional plumber who can use advanced tools to clear the drain safely and effectively.

Water Heater Problems

Cold weather can put extra strain on your water heater, leading to issues such as reduced efficiency, leaks, or even complete failure.

How to Handle Water Heater Problems:

  1. Insulate Your Water Heater: Wrapping your water heater with an insulating blanket can help maintain a consistent temperature and reduce energy consumption.
  2. Flush the Tank: Sediment buildup in the tank can reduce the water heater’s efficiency. Regularly flush the tank to remove sediment and maintain performance.
  3. Check for Leaks: Inspect your water heater for any signs of leaks or corrosion. If you notice any issues, contact a professional plumber to assess and repair them.
  4. Maintain a Consistent Temperature: Avoid frequently changing the temperature setting on your water heater. Keeping it at a constant temperature can help prolong its lifespan.
  5. Schedule Annual Maintenance: Consider scheduling an annual maintenance service with a professional plumber to ensure your water heater is in top working condition.

Faucet Drips and Leaks

Cold temperatures can cause faucets to freeze and develop leaks, which can lead to water wastage and higher utility bills.

How to Handle Faucet Drips and Leaks:

  1. Prevent Freezing: During extremely cold weather, let a small trickle of water run through your faucets to prevent freezing. This keeps water flowing and reduces the chances of leaks.
  2. Inspect and Repair: Regularly inspect your faucets for any signs of drips or leaks. If you notice a problem, repair it promptly or call a professional plumber to fix it.
  3. Replace Seals and Washers: If your faucet continues to leak even after tightening, it may be time to replace worn-out seals or washers.
  4. Install Freeze-Proof Faucets: Consider installing freeze-proof faucets, which are designed to withstand cold temperatures and reduce the risk of freezing and leaks.

Why Choose Arco Plumbing for Plumbing Emergencies in Westmont, IL, and the Chicagoland Area

When it comes to plumbing emergencies, you need a trusted partner who can respond promptly, provide expert solutions, and offer peace of mind. In Westmont, IL, and the surrounding Chicagoland area, Arco Plumbing stands out as the go-to choice for all your plumbing needs. With a strong commitment to customer satisfaction, a team of skilled professionals, and a track record of excellence, here are some compelling reasons why you should choose us for plumbing emergencies.

  1. Local Expertise and Reliability: We have been serving the Westmont, IL, and Chicagoland communities for over 30 years. Our deep understanding of the local plumbing landscape, including weather-related challenges, enables us to provide tailored solutions that stand the test of time.
  2. Skilled and Certified Technicians: Our team of plumbing experts is fully licensed, insured, and certified. We invest in ongoing training to ensure that our technicians are up-to-date with the latest industry standards and technologies.
  3. State-of-the-Art Equipment: Arco Plumbing equips its technicians with cutting-edge tools and equipment to diagnose and resolve plumbing issues efficiently. Whether it’s advanced leak detection equipment or high-pressure water jetting for clearing tough blockages, we have the technology to get the job done right the first time.
  4. Transparent Pricing: We believe in transparency when it comes to pricing. Before we start any work, our technicians provide you with a clear and detailed estimate so you know exactly what to expect. There are no hidden fees or surprises. We believe that honesty and integrity are essential in building trust with our customers.

Have a Plumbing Emergency? Call Arco Plumbing

While winter can bring its share of plumbing challenges, being proactive and knowing how to handle common winter plumbing emergencies can save you time, money, and stress. Remember that some tasks, like thawing frozen pipes and addressing burst pipes, are best left to the experts. For professional plumbing services and assistance with any winter plumbing issues, you can trust Arco Plumbing to provide reliable, efficient, and cost-effective solutions. Stay warm and worry-free this winter by taking the necessary steps to protect your plumbing system.