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What You Need to Know About How Calgary’s Climate Affects Your Plumbing

calgary's climate affects your plumbing

In Calgary, we have a notoriously dry climate, with warm summers and cold, harsh winters. While the weather can affect our comfort, it also has a unique impact on our plumbing systems. Add to that the fact that Calgary and southern Alberta have hard water, and you can see how this area deals with distinctive plumbing requirements. There is an advantage to knowing and understanding the local climate and environment when it comes to your pipes. Taking the proper precautions will allow your plumbing systems to continue operating properly, even through cold or dry spells. Here’s what you need to know about how Calgary’s climate affects your plumbing.


Frozen Pipes

In spite of the sunny skies, if you’re from Calgary you know that our winters can be cold and brutal. Long stretches of freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on plumbing systems, especially if your pipes freeze during the winter. As long as you’re running your plumbing consistently, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re planning on escaping the cold and heading south for vacation, pipes can freeze in Calgary when left unused. If you have someone checking on your home while you’re away, instruct them to run the taps and flush the toilets from time to time. If you’re going to be away from your home for an extended period, you’ll need to properly winterize your plumbing system. This includes shutting off the entire water supply and allowing all water to drain. It might be worth it to hire a professional plumber to ensure your home is ready for your getaway.  


Hard Water

Newcomers to Calgary might be surprised to see the crystalline buildup that’s so common in our showerheads or taps. This is because Calgary has hard water, meaning the water has a high mineral content, including calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals. Most of Calgary’s water is derived from the Bow and Elbow Rivers, where these minerals are present in high quantities. While drinking water with a high mineral content doesn’t affect your health, it does affect your plumbing, and the scaly buildup on your tubs and faucets is only part of the problem. Over time, these minerals also build up in places we don’t see, like the inside of our pipes, fixtures, and appliances, causing clogs or reduced water flow. Appliances like your water heater or washing machine might wear down and operate less efficiently, costing more to run and needing more repairs. The most common solution to dealing with hard water is by installing a water-softening system.  


Cracked or Burst Pipes

Cracked pipes can occur in any season. Cold winters can cause the water in pipes to freeze and crack, and the heat of summer will cause the soil around your home to expand and the ground to shift. These shifts can damage, or even burst, your pipes. Since our summers are so dry, tree roots get desperate for moisture and might try making their way into your plumbing. Make sure you know where your water lines are before planting any trees or shrubs! Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to know you have a crack in your plumbing is when you notice a leak. If you do see a puddle of water under your kitchen sink, or elsewhere in your home, you must act quickly before cracked plumbing turns into a major problem. Unless you have the knowledge and proper tools to deal with a cracked or burst pipe, it’s time to call a professional immediately.

Calgary’s climate is known for wreaking havoc on its plumbing systems. If you’re dealing with an emergency, or looking to take steps to protect your pipes and fixtures, you’ll want to call a local plumbing company that understands the unique challenges Calgary weather presents. For all your plumbing needs, call the expert plumbers at Mr. Mike’s Plumbing.