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Plumbing systems are an essential part of any home or business, providing clean water and removing waste. Unfortunately, plumbing systems can be vulnerable to damage in cold weather, especially during freezing temperatures. This blog post will provide an overview of common plumbing issues during freezing temperatures and discuss prevention techniques, as well as when it is best to contact a professional plumber for help.

northern services is a family-owned business located in Olivia, MN that has been providing residential and commercial plumbing, heating and cooling services since 1981. Founded by Arvid Helin and Rich Zuhlsdorf, the company has been passed down from generation to generation with Gregg Helin taking over as owner and president in 2007. In 2021 the company rebranded to Northern Services and moved to a larger building on Highway 212. The company prides itself on its first-class work and customer service to Olivia and the surrounding communities. Northern Services offers comprehensive solutions for your home or business including local plumber services, air conditioning services, heating services, drain cleaning services and air quality services.

Definition of Plumbing System

The plumbing system in a home or business consists of pipes, fittings, fixtures such as sinks and toilets, valves, drains, water heaters and other equipment that deliver clean water into the building and remove wastewater away from it. The system also includes appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and ice makers that use water for their operations.

Overview of Common Plumbing Issues During Freezing Temperatures

When temperatures drop below freezing (32°F/0°C), exposed pipes can freeze which can lead to cracks or leaks in the pipes due to the expansion of frozen water inside them. Frozen pipes can also block water flow which can cause low pressure or no water at all throughout the system. Additionally, frozen pipes can create backups in drains which could lead to flooding if not addressed quickly enough.

Identifying Potential Problems

Having a good understanding of the potential problems that can arise during freezing temperatures is essential to protecting your plumbing system. Knowing what to look for and how to identify any issues before they become more serious can help you save time and money in the long run. Here are some tips on how to identify potential problems with your plumbing system during cold weather.

Checking for Leaks & Cracks in Pipes

One of the most important things you can do to protect your plumbing system during cold weather is to check for leaks and cracks in pipes. This is especially true if you live in an area that experiences extreme cold temperatures or frequent winter storms. Look for any visible signs of water damage, such as discoloration or wet spots on walls, floors, or ceilings near pipes, which could indicate a leak or crack in the pipe itself. Additionally, listen for unusual sounds coming from pipes that could indicate a break or leak, such as gurgling noises or hissing. If you find any signs of damage, contact a professional plumber right away to assess the situation and make repairs if necessary.

Examining Insulation around Pipes

The insulation around your pipes plays an important role in keeping them protected during freezing temperatures. Make sure all exposed pipes are properly insulated with foam sleeves or heat tape, and check regularly throughout the winter season to make sure there are no gaps or tears in the insulation that could allow cold air to seep through and cause damage to your plumbing system. Additionally, inspect any areas where two different types of materials meet (such as metal meeting plastic) as these areas may be more prone to condensation or corrosion due to temperature changes.

Evaluating Faucet Connections Outside

It’s also important to pay close attention to outdoor faucets during cold weather months as these are particularly vulnerable to freezing temperatures since they are exposed directly outside your home’s walls. Make sure all connections are secure by checking for any loose nuts or bolts, as well as inspecting hoses and other components attached to the faucet for signs of wear and tear such as cracking or splitting that could lead to leaks when subjected to freezing temperatures. Additionally, consider installing frost-proof faucets if you don’t already have them installed; these types of faucets will help keep water flowing even at lower temperatures so they won’t freeze up like regular faucets might.

Identifying potential problems in plumbing during cold weather, checking for leaks and cracks, examining insulation and evaluating faucet connections outside.

Prevention Techniques

It’s important to take proactive steps to protect your plumbing system from the damaging effects of freezing temperatures. Taking preventative measures can help you avoid costly repairs and keep your plumbing system running smoothly during the winter months.

Insulating Exposed Pipes with Heat Tape or Foam Sleeves

The most effective way to protect exposed pipes is to insulate them with heat tape or foam sleeves. Heat tape is a special electrical cord that is wrapped around the pipe and plugged into an outlet, providing a constant source of warmth. It should be used on any exposed pipes that are located in unheated areas such as basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces. Foam sleeves are also available for insulation purposes, but they do not provide the same level of protection as heat tape does.

When using either insulation option, it’s important to follow all safety instructions carefully and to check the cords regularly for any signs of wear or damage. Additionally, you should make sure that all insulated pipes are well-supported so they don’t become damaged due to pressure or movement.

Keeping Cabinets Open to Increase Warm Air Flow

Another easy way to keep your plumbing system protected during freezing temperatures is to keep cabinets open in order to allow warm air flow throughout the house. This will help keep the temperature inside the house consistent and will help prevent pipes from freezing due to cold drafts coming in through windows or doors. Make sure that all exterior doors and windows are properly sealed so that no cold air can enter your home and cause your pipes to freeze.

Running Water Through the System Regularly to Prevent Freezing

Running water through your plumbing system on a regular basis can also help reduce the risk of frozen pipes during cold weather conditions. This is especially important if you have any outdoor faucets connected to your home’s plumbing system since these are more likely to freeze due to their exposure to colder temperatures outside. To prevent this from happening, it’s best practice to run water through each faucet at least once a week during colder months so that any standing water has a chance of flowing out before it has a chance of freezing inside the pipe itself. Additionally, you should make sure that all outdoor faucets are properly insulated with foam covers or other materials in order to further reduce their risk of freezing over time.

Taking these simple steps can go a long way towards protecting your plumbing system from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures during winter months. By following these tips closely and taking proactive measures when necessary, you can ensure that your home’s plumbing system remains safe and functional throughout the year without having to worry about costly repairs down the road!

Prevention TechniqueBenefits
Insulating Exposed Pipes with Heat Tape or Foam SleevesConstant source of warmth, more protection than foam sleeves
Keeping Cabinets Open to Increase Warm Air FlowKeeps temperature inside house consistent, prevents freezing due to cold drafts
Running Water Through the System Regularly to Prevent FreezingReduces risk of frozen pipes, prevents standing water from freezing

Professional Assistance

It is important to remember that while there are a number of preventive measures that homeowners can take to protect their plumbing systems from freezing temperatures, professional assistance may be necessary to ensure the system remains in good condition throughout the winter months. Professional inspections and repairs offer a number of benefits, including identifying potential problems before they become serious and costly.

Benefits of Professional Inspections and Repairs

When it comes to protecting your plumbing system during cold weather, professional assistance can be invaluable. A professional plumber will be able to inspect the entire system for any signs of damage or potential issues, as well as make any necessary repairs or adjustments. This can help prevent future problems, such as frozen pipes, blocked drains, and other issues that could lead to costly repairs down the line. Additionally, a professional plumber will also be able to identify any areas where additional insulation may be needed in order to better protect your plumbing system from freezing temperatures.

When to Contact a Plumber for Help

If you suspect that there may be an issue with your plumbing system due to cold weather conditions, it is important to contact a professional plumber as soon as possible. Even if you have taken all the necessary steps to protect your pipes from freezing temperatures, it is still possible for pipes to freeze or burst if they are not properly insulated or maintained. If this occurs, it is essential that you contact a plumber immediately in order to minimize any potential damage and repair the problem quickly and efficiently.

Cost Considerations for Professional Services

When considering whether or not to hire a professional plumber for assistance with protecting your plumbing system during cold weather conditions, it is important to consider the cost of services. While hiring a professional plumber may seem like an expensive option initially, it can actually save you money in the long run by preventing more serious (and more expensive) problems down the line. Additionally, many plumbers will offer discounts or promotions on certain services throughout the year which can help reduce costs further.

To protect your plumbing system from potential damage during freezing temperatures, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent any issues. This includes checking for leaks and cracks in pipes, examining insulation around pipes, evaluating faucet connections outside, insulating exposed pipes with heat tape or foam sleeves, keeping cabinets open to increase warm air flow, and running water through the system regularly. If these preventive measures are not enough, it is recommended to contact a professional plumber for help. Northern Services has been providing residential and commercial plumbing services since 1981 and offers comprehensive solutions for your home or business. With their first-class work and customer service, you can trust that they will get the job done right.