Your plumbing system is both robust and fragile. It can handle a mains pressure of up to 1,200kPa without an issue. But, it can also be easily damaged by age and the elements. That’s why you should inspect your pipes regularly to ensure they are in good condition.
It’s particularly important to visually inspect internal pipes and joins before the winter months. Alongside this, you should invest in a pipe inspection camera that will allow you to inspect the drains, allowing you to find and fix issues before they cause bigger problems.
Winter brings colder and wetter weather, specifically snow and ice. These can be very harmful to your plumbing system:
Snow means cold weather and a high likelihood that the water in any exposed plumbing pipes will freeze. In the first instance, this is frustrating as you will be deprived of water in your home. But, of more concern is the pressure this places on your pipes.
When water freezes it expands, this places additional pressure on your pipes and can cause joints to rupture or even the pipe to burst. You won’t know about it until the water in the pipe defrosts and the normal supply is resumed. At this point, the water could be spraying across your home.
If your pipes freeze it is best to turn off the water supply and then check them thoroughly after they have defrosted.
Septic Tank Bursting
If you live rurally then there is a good chance you rely on a septic tank. In general, these are effective solutions and need minimal care. But, snow and ice increase the pressure on the tank. The colder the ground gets the greater the pressure and the more likely that the pipe or the tank will burst. This means it will develop a crack or hole and the wastewater and solids will be able to escape. In effect, you’ll pollute your own yard.
There is little you can do to prevent this but you will need to call a plumber quickly to get the matter dealt with.
When it snows you may find it harder to locate the pipes that you normally know are present. This increases the likelihood of them being stepped on or damaged in some other way. Again, this will mean you are dealing with a water leak that won’t be obvious until the pipes defrost.
You’ll need expert help to deal with this issue and ensure the pipes are positioned better to prevent them from being damaged again.
Water Heater Breaking Down
Your water heater takes cold water and heats it to the desired temperature. Naturally, it works much harder in the winter months when snow and ice lower the temperature of the water in your pipes. This additional strain can cause issues with the water heater, ranging from warm water instead of hot to complete failure.
In all cases having it serviced regularly will help. But, you’ll need to be aware that this signifies an issue and should be sorted.