A winter sewer problem is any issue that occurs with your home's sewer system during the winter months. While most homeowners are aware of the potential for frozen pipes, there are other less-known winter sewer problems that can occur. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the most common winter sewer problems and how to prevent them.
Common Winter Sewer Problems That Homeowners Face
Winter sewer problems require immediate attention, as frozen and blocked pipes can rapidly cause further damage. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect your sewer system and avoid common winter issues. The following are common winter sewer problems and tips for preventing them:
- Tree Root Incursion – One of the most preventable causes of sewer problems is tree root incursion, which can occur when roots enter through weak or cracked pipes and clog the line. To avoid this type of root damage, have areas of your sewer system that are at risk of tree root incursion checked regularly for signs of wear and tear.
- Grease and Debris Buildup – Another common winter issue is the buildup of grease and debris inside the pipes. This can be avoided by frequently running hot water down drains to help break up any buildup.
- Poorly Insulated Pipes and Sewer Lines – Ensuring pipes are properly insulated from nearby cold air sources will greatly reduce the potential for freezing pipes during extreme temperatures, resulting in fewer costly and inconvenient plumbing problems.
- Frozen Pipes and Sewer Lines – Frozen pipes can be both inconvenient and potentially costly if repairs are necessary, so it pays to take preventive measures. To avoid this problem, make sure that any pipes located on an exterior wall or in an unheated space are insulated with material specifically designed for this purpose. You should also ensure that heat is running throughout the entire house during winter months, which will help keep pipes warm even in frigid temperatures. Additionally, it's a good idea to turn off your outdoor sprinkler system and open up a faucet connected to an outside pipe so that any water left in the line drains out. Applying these simple steps can save you time and money while helping keep your winter season worry-free.
- Clogged Drains – Clogged drains are a common issue caused by a buildup of debris and solidified grease. Fortunately, there are some preventative steps that you can take to minimize blockage and keep the water in your tubs, sinks, and toilets flowing smoothly. Regularly inspecting your drain screens for debris is key. Trapped food particles, hair, and other foreign objects can accumulate over time and lead to blockages. Furthermore, you may want to consider using a plumbing enzyme product from your local hardware store. These enzymatic treatments can help break down the grease or other junk that is glomming onto the walls of your pipes. If all else fails, it's definitely worth looking into seeking help from a professional plumber. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to unclogging those pesky drains.
- Septic Tank Issues – If you have a septic tank, winter weather can cause it to freeze and break. To prevent any potential damage, there are certain precautionary steps you can take to protect your septic tank from the cold. Special additives that are designed to lower the freezing point of water within a septic system can help ensure that the system remains unaffected by winter chill. Additionally, regular inspection and cleaning of the system’s components should be done throughout the year to minimize the chance of an issue. Finally, consider adding insulation around your septic tank. This simple step can make all the difference in protecting your tank when temperatures start to drop.
If you need winter solutions for sewer problems your home or business is experiencing, call Winters® Home Services at (617) 977-3101 or reach out to us online today. We offer discounts! We’re available 24/7 for emergency plumbing services.