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Winter Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Top winter plumbing maintenance tips


Top 5 tips for winter plumbing:

  • 1. Get your hot water tank inspected

  • 2. Check your gutters, downpipes and drains are clear

  • 3. Roof leaking?

  • 4. Fix any leaks

  • 5. Inspect your pipes

Winter can be the worst time to have a plumbing problem, especially if things go really wrong. The last thing you need is a burst pipe or a hot water heater when the temperature is hovering just above freezing.

Issues tend to crop up when you get a frost or a heavy winter storm that dumps a lot of rain in a short amount of time. This is why it is important you get on top of your plumbing maintenance before one or more of these scenarios play out. It all comes down to the old saying – prevention is better than cure, which means getting on top of issues before they become problems.

Read on to find out what our top 6 tips are for preventive plumbing maintenance this winter.


1. Get your hot water tank inspected

Having no hot water, even for a night, is a real test in the middle of winter – so we advise getting your hot water system serviced or inspected before disaster strikes. This is especially true if your tank is more than a few years old, as components do degrade and corrode. Telltale signs of a problem are brown water from the hot water tap, which could mean a dodgy anode or a rusted tank.

2. Check your gutters, downpipes and drains are clear

Heavy winter rains can easily overwhelm blocked gutters and downpipes, especially in late autumn if they are chock full of leaves. Here the trick is to have them cleaned after most leaves have fallen, or install gutter guards which limit debris build up. Fail to do this and all the water these systems are supposed to channel water from your roof could end up causing leaks over time. In terms of drains these can also become blocked by leaves and debris from your garden, so ensure you keep on top of your garden maintenance, and check grates regularly. For kitchen drains try avoid pouring oils and fats down your sink, as these can then clog in really cold weather.

3. Roof leaking?

Leaky roof can often equal shelling out big bucks for repairs. So if your roofing has developed a leak, best to jump on it asap. For sheet metal roofing – like Colorbond – leaks often develop at the seams or where the roofing joins flashing or guttering. If you have tiles these can crack or be moved by severe weather or falling tree branches. Ridge tiles can also become loose and need rebedding or repointing, or even replacing.

4. Fix any leaks. 

It may sound like common sense but fixing leaks asap should be a priority at any time of the year, but especially in winter. Why? Any excess moisture from a leak is more likely to cause mould to develop, especially if the leak is somewhere dark and inaccessible – like in a roof cavity or under a sink. A dripping tap or two may not seem that many, but you would be surprised how much these add up to over the long run.  Get a plumber in to take care of any leaks, before they damage your home. 

5. Inspect your pipes

 If you live in an area where the temperatures really get low you will want to make sure your pipes are insulated. This will prevent the water inside them freezing and splitting the pipes, a problem for exposed pipes outdoors. You should also know where to isolate your mains in case of an emergency.  
6. Hire the right tradie

When it comes to hiring a tradie make sure they are right for your job. Be sure to confirm if they:

  • Are licensed, if required

  • Have valid insurance

  • Can provide a written quote

  • Have references you can follow up

  • You should also try and get at least three quotes, especially for more costly jobs.

David Frith Quality Plumbing