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Common Winter Plumbing Problems and How to Prevent Them

The plumbing team at Yale Mechanical responds to about 40 service calls in a typical week, but that number swells this time of year. Freezing temperatures can create all sorts of havoc for plumbing systems that haven’t been properly maintained or prepared for winter. We’re always here for our customers, whether that means helping prevent common winter plumbing problems or dealing with sudden emergencies, but there are certain things maintenance professionals can do now to prevent serious issues when winter officially takes over.

Preventing Common Winter Plumbing Problems In Your Commercial or Industrial Building

In responding to so many calls, our technicians have found general trends – common winter plumbing problem and building issues that get our phones ringing when the temperature drops. Here are a few of them and how to make sure your building is winter-proof.

Exterior hose faucets

Because they’re not visible from the outside, water lines leading to hoses and external faucets are easy to miss during your annual pre-chill check. Sure, you disconnected the hose and the spigot isn’t running, but that’s only half of it – you have to be sure the lines are clear and the water is shut off from the source. The isolation valve is often found in the ceiling where the pipe goes through the exterior wall, or sometimes it’s found in a maintenance room. Be sure you know where yours are located and they’re turned off.

Roof drain lines

Roofs are one of the main ways commercial and residential buildings differ. Because of their size, most commercial buildings don’t (or can’t) have slanted roofs, meaning they need another way to move water – liquid or frozen – away from the building. These roof drains and drainage lines need to be kept clear of debris to avoid buildup and freezing, which is a common winter plumbing problem that could spell disaster for any building.

Underground piping

Your underground pipes should be buried deep enough that the freezing ground won’t affect them, run often enough to remove waste that could block them, and checked for leaks and cracks before they have the chance to burst. Using high-tech snake cameras and tools to clear blockage, Yale Mechanical can give you the all-clear ahead of the bitter chill.

While these common plumbing problems can affect any commercial or industrial building, we know that each facility has unique plumbing systems and needs. That’s why we offer tailored plumbing contracts for buildings of all types that address their unique plumbing systems and help prevent these common winter plumbing problems from creating an issue. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about getting your building ready for the cold winter ahead.

Blog Author

Paul Mason

Plumbing Superintendent with more than 20 years in the field. Paul manages Yale’s plumbing team to get the right technician in the right place on time. He holds a master plumber license from the Minnesota Department of Labor, a Certificate of Competency in plumbing in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and earned his Backflow Prevention Certification from the American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE).

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