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Home maintenance can be a challenge during the winter months, and the plumbing is no exception. Frigid temperatures can make minor problems worse and may turn more significant problems into a very expensive debacle. You can reduce the risk of a severe problem and keep your home safe by calling a plumber in Waxahachie, TX, at the first sign of a problem.
Leaks and Water Pressure
Keep an eye out for leaks from pipes, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. Signs of a hidden leak include damp walls, mold, unexplained high water bills, and strange noises you can’t identify. Water from uncontrolled leaks can damage your home or even put the home’s foundation at risk. Frozen water expands, so water that has seeped into the foundation or crawlspaces can do a lot of damage if it freezes and becomes ice.
Although many of us enjoy high water pressure in the shower, excessively high pressure can actually damage pipes. Constant pressure can lead to leaks and wear-out pipes and fixtures long before their expected functional lifetime. A water pressure regulator can help you monitor pressure and avoid excess strain on plumbing fixtures.
Water heaters need regular maintenance to keep running efficiently. Heaters with tanks should be flushed to remove sediment buildup at least once per year. Mineral buildup in the tank can severely impact efficiency and may even contribute to clogs and mineral buildup in your pipes and appliances. An insulating blanket can help protect your water heater and extend its functional lifetime. Some newer heater models come with insulating blankets, and you can contact your plumber to add an insulating blanket to an older model.
Protect exposed drain pipes during the winter months in Waxahachie, TX to reduce the risk of burst pipes. Frigid temperatures can freeze the water inside uninsulated pipes. This leaves your home without water, but that may not be the end of it. Frozen pipes can break, which may lead to flooding and costly repairs. Call a plumbing company if you suspect water inside your pipes has already frozen. Thawing pipes too quickly can actually increase the risk of a break, especially if the ice inside the pipe melts unevenly. Your plumber can also help you insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing in the first place.
Make sure your washing machine and all associated fixtures are in good repair. Rubber hoses aren’t as durable as steel braided hoses, so you may want to consider replacing rubber, especially if the hoses appear hard and cracked. It’s best to call a professional to replace washing machine parts and fixtures. The amount of water used by a washing machine can cause serious problems if a malfunction leads to flooding. A flooded basement is almost the best-case scenario. Washing machines located in the upper stories of a home can create significant problems if a leak occurs. Large amounts of water saturating floors and walls can lead to electrical problems, rotting, and mold.
Toilets and Sewer Lines
Clogged toilets are one of the most common reasons to call a plumber. It’s important to put nothing but waste and toilet paper into a toilet bowl. The toilet should never be used to flush other types of garbage. In addition to clogged pipes, a build-up of non-biodegradable trash in your pipes can lead to problems with sewer lines or septic tanks. Call a plumbing company immediately if you suspect an issue with a sewer line or notice any signs of a septic tank leak.
Watch out for toilet leaks as well. A leaky toilet can waste a lot of water. You can check for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes then go back and check the tank. If the water has changed color, then you know a leak is present. Use caution with food coloring if your toilet is loose or wobbly or if you notice that the bathroom floor is wet around the toilet.
Most food coloring can be cleaned up easily, but be prepared if you put food coloring in the tank or bowl with a suspicion that it will end up on your bathroom floor. If water is leaking from the toilet bowl onto the floor, you’ll probably be more concerned with other potential contaminants, such as bacteria and foul odors. In addition to higher water bills, a leaky toilet can also leave you with a time-consuming mess to clean up. A professional plumber can also pinpoint a problem using special diagnostic equipment, and the benefit of years of experience.
Make sure you know the location of all the shut-off valves in your home. If a plumbing problem occurs, shutting off the main water supply can prevent flooding until you can get the problem fixed. Sometimes individual fixtures have their own shut-off valves, which can be very helpful because you can shut the water off to the problematic fixture and continue using water in the rest of your home. Ask your plumber if you aren’t sure where shut-off valves are located. A plumber can also test the valves for you so you don’t run into malfunctioning valves when you really need them. You can ask your plumber if it’s possible to install valves for major appliances, such as the washing machine or dishwasher.
The licensed professional plumbers at Bahama Plumbing can provide assistance for any plumbing concerns in Waxahachie, TX. Although no one really wants a repair bill, it’s almost always better to address a problem immediately to avoid costly complications down the road. Hiring a plumber also means you can trust a professional and put your mind at ease instead of wondering if a problem is going to reoccur or worry about how long a temporary fix will hold.