As fall turns into winter, temperatures continue to drop rapidly. Two months into the autumn season, temperatures in Richmond have already seen frigid numbers reaching the high 20’s.
Below freezing weather can be hazardous to your home’s plumbing system. Precautions should be taken in order to make it past these cold seasons without any problems.
We have listed two of the most problematic plumbing scenarios you can experience as a homeowner, and remedies to get through them.
One of the most likely problems one can encounter during the last two seasons of the year, frozen pipes pose a danger to both your water flow and your wallet. Costs can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars for certain pipe bursts.
The pipes you must keep an eye on are those located in unheated, interior spaces. Basements and attics host pipes which may be far from a heating source. A good idea is to keep constant hot air flowing towards these pipes. Pipes located within cabinets can also receive restricted airflow, so keeping cabinet doors open during especially chilly temperatures can allow heat to reach these tricky spaces.
Another trick one can use is insulation and/or heating tape. Low cost and widely available at your local home improvement store, these two materials can provide a more immediate source of heat to pipes in danger of bursting. Simply wrap either around your pipes and instantly allow heat to come in contact. Heating tape may be a smarter alternative for those pipes in serious danger: this material gives off heat of up to 500 degrees!
Water Heater Failure
Another plumbing problem one might run into is a failing water heater. A leaky water heater can cause damage to your home and put a dent in your wallet. There are a few signs to look out for to know if your water heater is on the verge of failure.
The most apparent problem would be the age of the appliance. As per usual with household equipment, water heaters which are aged 10 years or more should be replaced with a new one. Do not wait longer if you realize your water heater is around a decade old.
Another noticeable sign that your water heater needs replacing is a lack of hot water in your home. If your showers and tap water are not as hot as they once were, your water heater needs to be flushed. Over time, certain minerals from the water in the heater form a barrier between the burner of the heater and the water in the tank. Waiting too long to flush your heater can result in leakage or a complete shutdown of the machine.
If you notice these signs, don’t be afraid to give us a call! We can help get your heater working again and hot water back into your homes.
Contact us at (804)758-4314 for all your plumbing needs this chilly season!