With the winter season arriving in Pittsburgh, it’s important to be prepared to face some of the common plumbing issues that can occur due to the cold weather. At 412 Plumbing, we’ve put together a guide on the most common plumbing issues and how to handle them.
Frozen or Burst Pipes
When the temperature drops down below freezing or around 32-degrees Fahrenheit, any pipes in your home that are exposed or poorly insulated in your garage, crawl spaces, or basements are more susceptible to freezing. Frozen pipes can burst, leading to a major and expensive mess, damaging your property, and potentially causing mold growth and mildew buildup in your home.
Unfortunately, a burst pipe is not always obvious, so when the temperature drops, watch out for these signs of a burst pipe:
- Discolored water
- Decrease in water pressure
- Constant leaks
- Higher water bills
- Strange noises (hissing, gurgling, clanging, etc.)
Be sure to check your pipes that are exposed to frost. If you see frost on the pipes, they are likely frozen inside. You will need to thaw the pipes, which can be done carefully using a hairdryer or a heat lamp. Do not use open flames. You can also contact 412 Plumbing to resolve this issue as we have the training and equipment needed to do the job efficiently and safely.
Water Heater Issues
You rely on your water heater daily, meaning that it is hard at work year-round. When winter comes around, it works even harder to handle the hot showers, dishes, and laundry. With a higher demand in the winter, it can lead to wear and tear that can cause a breakdown. If you’ve skipped water eater maintenance over the past year or longer, a breakdown is even more likely.
If you are experiencing lukewarm or chilly water temperatures, it could be a sign that your water heater is failing. Other signs of water heater failure include:
- Inconsistent water temperature
- Leaks at the base of the heater
- Sounds coming from the heater
If you notice any of these signs, call 412 plumbing as soon as possible. We can either repair or replace your water heater and prevent you from being left with cold showers this winter.
Clogged Drains in the Kitchen
The holidays are a time for entertaining, which means plenty of cooking and dishes to be done. This also means an increase in food waste going through your garbage disposal, which can lead to kitchen drain clogs.
To prevent clogs, you want to avoid putting food items like coffee grounds, meat bone, fat, or cooking oil down the garbage disposal. It is also important to run cold water while using the disposal and allow it to run an additional 15 to 30 seconds after shutting it off. You should also be sure to clean the disposal by running ice through it. This will help to remove any debris left behind.
Experiencing a clog? Here is how you can fix it:
- Turn off the power to the disposal. You will need to shut the power off at the wall switch and the breaker to avoid any accidents.
- Identify any obstructions and use pliers or kitchen tongs to remove the obstruction. Do not reach into the disposal with your hands.
- Let the motor cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Turn the power to the unit back on and press the reset button on the disposal.
If you’re not comfortable removing the clog yourself, call 412 Plumbing. Our expert team will happily assist you in getting your disposal back up and running!
Having Winter Plumbing Issues? We Can Help!
At 412 Plumbing, our team has the training and the technology needed to handle any winter problems you may be experiencing. Contact us today to learn more!