Doubtful DIY – Common Winter Plumbing Problems That Require Professional Assistance
Winter is a problematic time for all things plumbing-related.
Many people don’t realise just how many problems can be caused by a steep drop in temperature, or an increase in rainfall, and that’s why winter is one of the more dangerous times for plumbing. Hiring a local plumber to take care of your plumbing problems might seem like overkill to some, but the reality is that some of these jobs cannot and should not be done by your everyday person. To illustrate this point, we’ve got a few examples of common winter plumbing problems that require professional assistance.
Gas Related Jobs
Many people don’t know this, but gas works are done by plumbers as well, and these are much more dangerous than water works. Gas, unlike water, has the potential to catch fire and explode, and in the past has been responsible for serious bodily injury and the deaths of many people who attempt to do their own gas plumbing. Gas is hugely important in winter for many reasons, namely cooking food and keeping your home warm, so you can see why getting a plumber to do any gas related installations or maintenance would be a good idea.
Water freezes in pipes, and unlike basically every single other liquid on the planet, it actually expands when it freezes, meaning it can cause serious damage to your pipes if left uninsulated in winter. Water left to sit in hoses and pipes on the outside of your house will likely freeze in cold conditions, such as overnight, and the burst pipe that results will be much more expensive to fix than if you had just drained your outdoor pipes.
Heater Malfunction Prevention
As previously mentioned, gas runs the heat in your home during the months you need it most which means that, if you have a breakdown in the middle of an icy winter night, you’re stuck without heat until a plumber can come out and repair your heating unit. Getting a plumber to come to your house and check your unit before winter sets in can save you the hassle of dealing with a heatless winter night, and also means he can perform any preventative maintenance you might need to ensure the unit lasts many years.
Gutters are the main line for rainwater to take to get away from your house and into the drains in the street. Many people assume gutters and downpipes play a minimal role in the overall water-tight nature of a household, but in actuality gutters and downpipes are responsible for keeping water from leaking into your walls and ceilings, making them very important.
Getting a plumber to clear these pipes and gutters before winter’s onset is crucial, as the wind and rain of winter often blows debris into the pipes and clogs them, leading to leaks into the ceilings and walls of your otherwise picturesque abode. Clearing gutters yourself is possible, but dangerous without the right equipment, as many people injure or do permanent damage to their spines falling off roofs.
Finally, there are the smaller, more obvious repairs that need doing before winter gets it’s cold, icy fingers around your house. Leaking pipes make up a significant portion of a plumber’s job, and as such they can range from relatively inexpensive to fix, to hugely expensive to fix based on the diameter of the pipe and the pressure it’s under.
A common problem is a burst water main in someone’s street, which the council is required by law to fix, but that burst main could damage pipes within your own house. Getting a plumber out to check on your pipes after an event like that is a good idea, if only to double check that everything is as it should be.
Plumbers can help to maintain the majority of the functionality of your house in high-stress times like winter, so don’t hesitate to call one if you need one.