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Winter plumbing maintenance: staying ahead of the chill

Frozen garden Hhose and water pipe connection

As the crisp air of New Zealand’s winter season sets in, it’s not just the drop in temperature that homeowners need to brace for. Are you aware of the plumbing problems that tend to arise during the cooler weather? Knowing what these are and preparing for them can help save you from some major headaches in the long run.  

That’s why we’re here to shed light on common winter plumbing problems and emphasise the critical role of proactive maintenance. Let’s discuss how you can keep your property’s plumbing in top condition throughout the winter season. 

Frozen pipes

Perhaps the most pressing of all winter plumbing woes are frozen pipes. When water is exposed to extremely cold temperatures, it freezes within your plumbing assets. Not only does this cause blockages, it can make your pipes expand, increasing pressure and leading to cracks or even bursts. This leaves you to deal with extensive damage and costly repairs. 

Thawing out the issue

Preventing your pipes from freezing is an important part of winter plumbing maintenance. Insulating pipes in unheated areas like basements or garages is a good start. During cold spells, it can help to keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate pipes under sinks, and maintain a consistent indoor temperature at all times. If you do discover a frozen pipe, turn off the main water supply immediately and contact a professional plumber to safely thaw and repair any damage.

Water heater overload

Cooler weather brings a lot more warm showers. That means your water heater will likely be working double time as the demand for hot water increases. This puts extra strain on the heater and can exacerbate or cause new issues. For example, sediment buildup or a worsening leak may occur, reducing efficiency and heating capacity.

Keeping the heat 

To avoid water heater problems, schedule regular maintenance checks. These include flushing the tank to remove sediment, inspecting for signs of wear, and verifying that all components are functioning correctly. Allen Plumbing & Gas offers comprehensive services to ensure your water heater remains reliable when you need it most.

Blocked drains and gutters

Winter can also bring increased rainfall, putting extra pressure on your home’s exterior drainage systems. Blocked gutters and downspouts can lead to water overflow, which may cause damage to your property’s foundation or interior.

Clearing the path

Regularly cleaning your gutters and ensuring downspouts direct water away from your home is essential. You should also keep an eye on outdoor drains and remove leaves and debris as often as possible to prevent blockages.

Sump pump failures

For properties equipped with sump pumps, winter presents unique challenges. Frozen discharge lines can prevent water from being expelled, leading to backups and possible flooding.

Pump preparedness

Before winter sets in, test your sump pump by pouring water into the pit to ensure it activates properly. Check that the discharge line is insulated and clear of ice and debris. Regular inspections can identify potential issues before they escalate into bigger problems.

Leaky faucets and pipe joints

Pipes and fixtures can contract during cold weather, sometimes resulting in leaks at joints or faucets. These small drips not only waste water but can also lead to larger issues if left unaddressed.

Drip Detection

Keep an eye out for any signs of leaks, no matter how minor they may seem. These signs include higher water bills, water stains, mould or mildew, and changes in water pressure.  Addressing these early with the help of Allen Plumbing & Gas can save you from more significant problem-solving down the road.

Partner with Allen Plumbing & Gas for winter plumbing maintenance

Winter plumbing problems can be daunting, but with the right preparation and support from Allen Plumbing & Gas, you can navigate the season with ease. Our team of trusted professionals is ready to provide expert advice and services tailored to the unique challenges of New Zealand winters.

We’ll help ensure your home’s plumbing system is robust, reliable, and ready to handle whatever the season throws its way. Contact us today to schedule your winter plumbing maintenance and experience peace of mind knowing your home is in capable hands.