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How Cold Weather Can Cause Clogged Drains

According to The Plumbing Life Saver, cold weather may wreak havoc on a home’s plumbing system, especially if the temperature plummets. There are steps you can take, however, to keep your plumbing functioning properly and prevent cold weather clogs.

Cold weather can cause problems with the plumbing vent pipes in a home, especially if more than one drain is blocked. Plumbing vent pipes connect to multiple plumbing fixtures and act as an outlet for sewer gases from drainpipes as well as for allowing fresh air to flow into the pipes. In particularly cold weather, ice can collect in the vent pipes and clog them, which will cause slow drainage or blocked drains.

Drains can become blocked at any time of the year and are often caused by debris such as soap scum and hair collecting in the walls of the pipes. The build-up of debris eventually blocks the passageway for water to drain, causing blockages in sinks. Another common culprit causing blocked drains is oil and grease used for cooking being washed down the sink. During winter, oil and grease can stiffen in the pipes, resulting in more frequent blockages. The Plumbing Life Saver recommends pouring hot water down the drain to see if that fixes the issue.

In freezing temperatures, pipes can become frozen, leading to clogged drains. Wrap towels that have been soaked in hot water around the frozen pipe, rather than pouring boiling water directly on the pipes which may cause them to split due to the extreme temperature increase. 

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