The Cold Is Coming: 2 Plumbing Problems You May Be Having And How To Repair Them

18 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog


The cold can affect many things in your home, including your plumbing. If you currently have any plumbing problems and do not get them repaired, you will have even greater issues once the cold weather moves in. Below are two of these problems how you can repair them.

Water Shut Off Valve Leak

If you see water dripping under a sink, such as your bathroom or kitchen sink, there is likely a leak around the handle on the water shut off valve. Fortunately, this is generally very easy to repair.

You will find the water shut off valve on the piping under the sink. You will see a round handle and under the handle is the valve stem. This stem is approximately one to two inches long. A packing nut goes through the stem and then a packing washer. The packing washer is very important as it creates a watertight seal. In most cases, you will find the water leak is around the valve stem.

The first thing you need to do is use a wrench to tighten the packing nut. You should only have to go approximately an eighth-inch turn. This should stop the leak. If you still have a leak, there is a problem with the packing washer and it should be replaced.

Fix Sump Pump Clogs

If your sump pump has any type of clog it will cause problems this winter. You can check this on your own. Go outside and lift the lid. Remove any debris that you see with your hand, such as leaves or small sticks. You can also use a small hand shovel if you do not want to use your hand. When you finish, pour a bucket of water down the drain to see if it flows well. If the water flows very slowly or does not flow at all there is a clog that is deeper into the piping.

If there is a bad clog, you will smell a very bad odor around the sump pump. You may even smell an odor inside your home when you turn on the water.

If you hear more noise than you normally do on the sump pump, there is likely a problem with the motor. If you have not been outside around the sump pump in some time, you have likely not heard this noise.  If the sump pump is very old, this would be a good time to replace it.

Plumbers can also inspect the other plumbing in your home while they are there. For more information, see a website such as