It’s that time of year. In addition to the regular household plumbing issues that arise from time to time, winter brings its own unique Northern MI plumbing problems.
Here are some to watch out for when the temperatures drop and the cold winds rage:
Problems with hot water
Our Northern MI plumbing specialists are often called to homes to remedy a hot water heater that isn’t working properly. Before you call for expert help, make sure the temperature setting on the tank is high enough. Sometimes children or even pets will knock into the dial and set it a bit too low, which is more noticeable in cold weather. If the hot water tank is heated by natural gas, ensure that the pilot light is lit. If you still don’t have hot water, it’s time to check and see if something has failed. Thus the cold weather may highlight an important issue with the performance of your hot water heating system. A trusted Northern MI plumbing company will help you decide whether to repair or replace the tank (sometimes it’s more economical to replace).
The first sign of trouble with your plumbing is often a change in water flow. Watch to see if the water seems restricted; and if you suspect a pipe might be frozen, let it drip or dribble until you have a Northern MI plumbing specialist take care of the situation. Remember that a slightly higher water bill is less expensive than having your water pipes burst! The icy temperatures can freeze household pipes, particularly if they’re poorly insulated, and make them less able to manage high pressure from the water main. Open cabinet doors and let warm air reach the affected pipes (often located on exterior walls). If a pipe starts to leak or even bursts, turn off the water to your home at the water main and call a plumbing professional immediately.
Garden hose lines bursting
If homeowners don’t drain and disconnect garden hoses before winter, ice can form and cause a build-up of pressure, causing the pipes to leak or rupture. Either outcome can cause a lot of damage to a home. Installing insulated jackets for outdoor faucets, winterizing pipes, and knowing where to find shut-off valves will help homeowners guard against unwanted problems when the mercury dips.
Sump pump trouble
Freezing temperatures can be problematic for homes with sump pumps, particularly if the discharge pipe is not properly graded. Snow and ice can block drainage areas, causing the water that should be draining to back up or freeze. If the sump pump lines freeze, they can burst or leak, whereas if the discharge pipe is frozen, it can burn out the sump pump motor.
If you need help properly winterizing the pipes and plumbing in your home, contact the Northern MI plumbing specialists at Sheren Plumbing & Heating. We have been helping with repairs and installation in and around Traverse City for over 30 years. We serve the Traverse City, Elk Rapids and surrounding northern Michigan region.