Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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How Property Owners Should Prepare To Handle Winter Plumbing Emergencies

Winter is notorious for plumbing problems. Pipes can freeze or break when temperatures drop below 32°F. On average, New York City experiences temperatures between 25°F and 40°F during the winter months, with the coldest month being January — an average low of 29°F.

As a property owner, you want to prepare your buildings for colder weather. With the right precautions and by working with qualified professionals, you improve your chances of avoiding a significant plumbing emergency this winter. Discover the steps for proper winterization and the most common threats to your building.

Winterization: Plumbing Emergency Avoidance

Understanding Winterization

Winterization is the process of preparing and protecting various systems, equipment, and structures to withstand the harsh conditions of winter, particularly in colder climates like NYC. The practice is essential to prevent damage, maintain functionality, and ensure safety during the colder months.

During winterization, several key areas are addressed to mitigate the challenges posed by freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other winter-related hazards.

One of the primary focuses is on sealing gaps and insulating walls and attics to conserve heat and reduce energy costs. It also includes safeguarding plumbing systems against freezing, such as by insulating pipes and disconnecting garden hoses to prevent burst pipes. Roof maintenance is vital as well to prevent ice dams that can damage roofs and lead to leaks inside.

Ultimately, winterization is a comprehensive process that involves several systems and areas of your property. The process is challenging to face alone and often requires professional assistance. Sanitary Plumbing is happy to address any concerns you may have about your plumbing system and ensure it is ready and functioning for the cold season.

Common Emergencies: What To Expect This Winter

Worst-Case Scenarios

No one expects or wants to deal with a plumbing emergency. Still, as a landlord, it is in your best interest to expect the worst while you hope for the best. By focusing on the worst potential outcomes, you can better prepare and assess your existing systems.

Expecting the worst does not demand investing in new equipment or materials, unless that is necessary. It does mean considering the worst case scenarios and reviewing the likelihood of those outcomes.

For example, one of the worst things that can happen in the winter is for your boiler or water heater to break down. Common factors of a boiler or water heater failure are age and maintenance. How old is your boiler or water heater? The average life expectancy of a boiler is 15 to 20 years, while the average for a water heater is eight to 12.

Do you maintain adequate maintenance records and hire professionals for all required services and inspections? On average, plumbing systems require annual inspections and maintenance. If you keep up with maintenance and inspection schedules, and the two appliances are within their service life, the risk of failure or a plumbing emergency is minimal.

Obviously, more goes into assessing systems. Sanitary Plumbing is available to inspect or service your current plumbing system to determine its winter readiness.

Clogged Drains and Backed-Up Systems

More people equals more problems for your building’s plumbing. The colder temperatures of NYC mean more people are staying in than going out. Also, the winter is host to several significant holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s, meaning tenants are likely to have relatives and guests visiting.

More people in your building means more hair, soap, food, trash, and other debris in your drains. Even without lower temperatures, drain waste can be a problem. To limit your property’s risks of clogs and back-ups, inform tenants about drain etiquette. Provide a list of items that can and cannot go into the drains.

If a tenant experiences a clog, encourage them to contact your staff. Inform the staff to call Sanitary Plumbing to resolve the issue. Discourage the use of drain cleaners or augers; while these tools can be effective in the right hands, they can cause damage to a system when handled improperly.

Minor Leaks

Severe leaks qualify as a plumbing emergency, but minor leaks may present greater risks in the winter. While severe leaks demand notice and action, minor leaks often go unnoticed for weeks or months. The problem with minor leaks is not just in damage costs. The more significant threat is line breaks or burst pipes.

If plumbing runs along an exterior wall and has a small leak, even just a pinhole, the exposure to cold temperatures can freeze the exposed water, which can create ice in the line. Ice in the supply is never good, potentially leading to excess pressure, cracks, and breaks.

Before winter sets in, you should hire Sanitary Plumbing to perform a thorough inspection of your building’s plumbing system. Also, make sure you and your staff know where the water main shutoff is in the building in case of an emergency.

Frozen Pipes

One of the biggest plumbing emergency threats is frozen pipes. When pipes freeze, the water in the line expands, putting outward pressure on the pipe. The extra pressure can cause the pipe to split or seals to fail, resulting in a significant mess.

To prevent frozen pipes, heat must be left on throughout the building. Depending on the setup of the system, building managers might be able to control specific settings. If not, inform tenants that under no circumstances is it OK to completely turn off their heat. Many tenants try to shut the heat off completely, especially if they are going out of town, but this is a significant threat to your property.

You can also prevent frozen pipes by preventing any unnecessary heat loss. Check attics for proper insulation, and inspect window and door seals. Also, consider contacting an HVAC professional to inspect and reseal ductwork seams. Finally, if necessary, install insulation around exposed plumbing.

Sanitary Plumbing: Avoid a Plumbing Emergency With Professional Maintenance and Inspections

Schedule Pre-Winter Inspections and Maintenance

While there is no good time for a plumbing emergency, the winter is especially challenging. The frigid temperatures and accumulation of snow and ice make repairs and maintenance difficult. By preparing now and winterizing your property effectively, you can avoid most risks. Contact Sanitary Plumbing at 212-734-5000 to schedule plumbing maintenance and inspections — ask about annual service contracts.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.