Feeling a draft?

Appears in the February 2021 issue.

Avoid plumbing disasters with these tips

Winter’s frigid weather can wreak havoc on piping systems. Tony Claus, owner of Stephens Plumbing and Heating in Downers Grove, offers tips on how to avoid problems.

What kinds of plumbing issues do you see in winter months?
When it gets really cold—zero degrees—we start seeing a lot of frozen pipe calls. Also, there are problems with sump pump discharges freezing, which is something to keep an eye on.

How can homeowners avoid these issues?
For the water pipes, let the faucet trickle a little bit. Some will insulate the pipes themselves, but a better solution is to stop the cold air itself. It’s best to seal drafts if you feel cold air getting in. And people can put an alarm on their sump pump so they know when it’s not working.

Illustration by Kevin Sterjo