You’ve most likely experienced some or maybe even all of the following plumbing problems during your lifetime. If you haven’t, you probably will at some point. These are four of the most common problems encountered during the cold months of the year. We’ll address what to do if any of the following happen to you.

Your hot water heater fails.

Does your water no longer get as hot as you like it, or worse, is it ice cold? Your water heater is likely failing or has failed. Before panicking, check the temperature on your water heater. It may simply need to be turned up. Aim for 120 degrees. Never set it above 140. If that’s not the problem, check to see if the pilot light is lit if you have a gas water heater. If neither of these is the issue, call your plumber to inspect the system for you.

Your pipes freeze and/or burst.

If you turn off the heat in your home during the winter, such as when you leave for vacation, you could return home to a very expensive disaster. If temperatures dip below freezing, the water inside your pipes can freeze in certain areas and block water flow. If water builds up behind this blockage and the pressure becomes too great, your pipes can crack or burst. This can happen even if you don’t turn your heat off or down. It can also occur in exterior or uninsulated parts of your home, such as a crawl space or in the attic or garage.

If you turn on a tap and little to no water comes out, you may have a frozen pipe! Call a plumber to investigate the situation and thaw your pipe for you if necessary.

If you realize a pipe in your home has burst, quickly turn off the main water supply, most likely located in your basement. Getting to your water supply just a few seconds quicker can prevent gallons of water from pouring out of the burst pipe. Reacting too slowly can result in a very messy and expensive problem to fix. Turn off the electricity as well, and locate the tap near the pipe and open it to release pressure and water. Then call an emergency plumber to come to the rescue.

Your kitchen sink gets clogged.

It’s tempting to dump the leftover greasy water or oil after cooking or used coffee grounds down the drain to dispose of them. However, these three items are recipes for disaster when poured into your kitchen sink. This is a bad idea and can lead clogging and backed up pipes at any time of the year, but during the winter, this mess can thicken in your cold pipes. Avoid this problem, and throw your grease, oil, and coffee grounds into the trash.

Ames Plumbing Services

If you need your plumbing system checked or any plumbing fixture repaired, call Cyclone Contracting in Ames!