Winter Plumbing Emergency Help and Prevention
Posted by Brody Funk on
Victoria, BC, may experience warmer average winter temperatures than the rest of the country during the cold months, but freezing weather and ice can still wear down your plumbing and potentially cause ruptures, breaks, and leaks. Ideally, the necessary work to safeguard your home should occur before the temperatures plummet in the late summer or fall, but it’s never too late to take preventative steps. And when an emergency occurs, it’s important to know which actions to take to stay safe and protect your home, its systems, and its contents from as much damage as possible.
The Super Plumber is your emergency plumber in Victoria BC and the surrounding areas like Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, and Nanaimo. Winter doesn’t wait for a convenient time to wreak havoc on your plumbing system, so any time an emergency occurs – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – give us a call. A real person will answer the phone and dispatch emergency plumbing response.
The following are some tips on what to do in the case of a winter plumbing emergency, followed by some notes on preventative measures you can do any time.
Burst Pipes, Flooding, or Leaking
When water is flowing where it shouldn’t, you’ll need to shut off the water supply. But first, if the water is substantial or near any wiring, or if there is any fear of electric shock in another scenario, grab a flashlight and first turn off the power to your home. Then locate your home’s water shut-off valve. It’s good to know where this and your gas shut-offs are located before an emergency is occurring. The main water shut-off valve is likely in your basement if you live in Canada. There are also shut-off valves to individual appliances and fixtures that might help depending on the source of the leak, but if you can’t figure out exactly what to turn off and where, cut the entire house’s supply. Then give us a call.
If you’ve turned off the house’s main water supply, you should also turn off your water heater in case too much heat and pressure build up inside of it. The tank could burst otherwise. Or the water inside could get too hot and scald someone using the hot water elsewhere in the home later on.
Place buckets and towels underneath any leaks to prevent water damage to your home. If you have plumber’s tape or Teflon tape, this can help temporarily stop the flow. Or use rags and towels if necessary. Even small leaks can cause expensive damage, so it’s important to regularly check on the condition of your plumbing and have professionals perform regular and preventative maintenance work. Water damage can lead to the growth of mold which is a big health hazard and a pain to get rid of.
There are a few common winter plumbing problems that residents in Victoria can prepare for. Frozen pipes can potentially lead to the most trouble, especially if you have exterior plumbing and uninsulated rooms in the home. A pipe bursts because the water inside expands once frozen and the pressure becomes too much to contain. It can also wear down over time from repeat expansion and retraction, causing small fissures and breaks. Ways to prevent your plumbing from freezing include:
- Ideally, drain your outdoor sprinkler system and detach your garden hose before winter
- Insulate rooms and areas containing pipes
- Insulate the pipes themselves with protective tape and insulation materials from the hardware store
- If you’re away from home, don’t turn the heat completely off
- In extreme cold, a slowly trickling faucet keeps water moving overnight when it’s coldest
- Allow warm air from your home to enter under cabinet areas by leaving doors ajar
- Keep the garage door closed if plumbing runs through it
- Use space heaters in unheated rooms with vulnerable pipes but remember they’re on and practice proper fire safety steps when operating them
If you find there is no hot water, even after running the water for awhile, there could be a problem with your water heater. This might be an issue with the heating element, build-up in the tank, or aging equipment that needs replacing. If you need water heater repair, replacement, or an efficiency upgrade, give The Super Plumber a call.
To help maintain your heater, regularly drain the tank and remove build-up of sediment and debris. A semi-annual partial flush should do the trick, and a complete flush every few years is also helpful. To partially flush the water heater tank, empty water from the drain valve near the bottom into a bucket. Fill the bucket and turn it off, dump the water, and repeat this a few times until the water comes out clear. Our experts can also come in and assist with proper water heater and tank care.
Even the most prepared and winterized home in Victoria can experience problems and sudden emergencies, and we’re here for you. Prevention is important, and part of the proper steps include regular maintenance from certified professionals. We’re available 24/7 for emergencies, so even if it’s midnight on Christmas or another stat holiday, we’ll be there.
We’re also available any time for regular plumbing repairs and preventative maintenance, with regular rates from 8 am to 8 pm, six days a week. Our business is built on your satisfaction, so we work around your schedule and provide an on-time guarantee: if we can’t make the appointment, we’ll compensate you with $100.
You can learn about our plumbing services on our site. Our regular services include repairs, maintenance, and replacements on:
- Plumbing and fixtures
- Drains and cleaning
- Sewers and septic
- Trenchless no-dig sewer repairs
- Water heaters
- Water pumps
- Water treatment
- Gas fitting
All our plumbing, drain, and gas fitting services come with The Super Plumber 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re unhappy with our work on your repair for any reason, we’ll redo it for FREE!
Call us any time if you need emergency or regular plumbing work on Vancouver Island, like Victoria, Nanaimo, Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, Sooke, Sidney. Check our home page for coupons and discounts on top of our regular low rates and stay safe this winter!