Cold & Clogs: How Winter Can Make Clogged Drains Worse
As temperatures in Minnesota drop below freezing and stay there, you may begin wondering how the extremely cold weather is affecting the pipes and plumbing system in your home. Beyond frozen pipes, winter can cause all kinds of problems for your plumbing, including clogged drains and blockages.
Cold Weather & Clogged Drains
Cold weather can clog drains. Pipes collect debris like hair, soap scum, sludgy food scrapes and oils no matter how hard we try to keep these things from going down the drain. Over time, these substances build up. Then when the cold weather hits, anything that’s been hanging out in your pipes can stiffen up and solidify. Add in a little water frozen by the cold temps and before you know it, you’ve got a fully stopped up sink or shower thanks to winter.
How to Avoid Cold Weather Clogs
Although an inconvenience, a frozen drainpipe can usually be prevented with a few easy steps.
- Be careful of what you put down your drains. Avoid letting grease, fat, oils, bones, coffee grounds, and starchy clog-forming foods like potatoes slip down your garbage disposal. These types of items should be tossed in the trash instead.
- Keep your garbage disposal clean. Ice, along with rock salt or vinegar can be great for scraping the inside of the grinding chamber to dislodge any buildup. Fill the disposal with ice cubes, then add a cup of salt or vinegar into the disposal. Then run it for several seconds with the water turned on.
- Keep it cold. Always run cold water when using your garbage disposal.
- Keep it running. Be sure to always turn the water on first and let it run for 15 to 30 seconds after you turn the disposal off.
How to Fix a Cold Weather Clog
Clogged drains, slow drains and blockages can be made worse by the cold weather. If you find your drains stopped up by a cold weather clog, here are a few things you can try.
- Boiling Water. Carefully pour boiling water down the drain. This may be enough to thaw the obstruction and get things moving again, at least for a while.
- Call a Plumber. If the hot water trick doesn’t work or if you are experiencing frequent clogs, it may be best to leave your clog to the professionals. More often than not, if you are experiencing clogs when the temperature drops, you’ve got a partial clog that’s being made worse by the cold weather. In order to keep things moving for good, you may need to have your drains checked by a professional plumber. They’ll be able to determine the actual the cause of the clog and provide you with a more permanent solution.
One Hour Rooter will not only unclog any drain quickly, capably and affordably, but we’ll keep your pipes clog free for longer with our drain cleaning services. Call 612-354-8984 today to schedule an appointment or if you prefer, schedule an appointment online.