Common Winter Plumbing Problems


While all might seem well with your plumbing system right now this winter season, that doesn’t mean all the pieces aren’t in place for a preventable plumbing disaster. Rather than wait to see whether you’ll need emergency bathroom plumbing repair during the colder months of the year, educate yourself on some of the more common winter plumbing problems so you can take steps to prevent them and save yourself a headache.

Insufficient Heating

If you use a boiler to heat up your home, you might find yourself with poor heating when you’re ready to warm things up. Do yourself a favor and check your boiler’s pressure and power source to see whether they’re at optimum levels. Not sure of what you’re looking at or looking for? Don’t hesitate to call a professional. It’s always preferable to make sure the job is done right the first time rather than try to take on the task yourself, which could cost you more in the way of time as well as money. It’s also best to have your boiler professionally inspected and serviced to prolong its life.

Clogged Pipes

You might do more cooking during the holiday season, which means you might be pouring grease and other unsafe substances down the kitchen drain. Oil, grease and coffee grounds can become stuck in your pipes where they can lead to clogs if left long enough, or if there’s enough of the substance. Should you even suspect you might have a clog keeping liquid from swirling down your kitchen or bathroom drains like normal, do not delay in calling a plumber out to come take a look to see what might be going on.

Frozen Pipes

Not only are frozen pipes one of the most common winter plumbing problems, they’re also one of the most frustrating. This is because you have to deal with repairing the pipes as well as taking care of any water or moisture problems that result from burst pipes. To keep from turning your home into a water park, insulate exposed pipes, especially those in your basement that you might not see every day. If you plan on leaving your house for an extended period of time, leave the heat on (above at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit) to better ensure your pipes don’t freeze. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep your bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open so heat can circulate to pipes underneath your sinks.

Broken Water Line

Water in your pipes that leads to them freezing can also trigger problems with your water line. Poor water pressure and obvious signs of damage to your pipes can indicate a water line break, which means you’ll want to shut off the water to allow the blockage to melt. If the issue is more severe, consult with a professional to plan your next move.

Malfunctioning Water Heater

Water heaters that are under an abundance of pressure during the winter (and any other season) can malfunction or break down entirely. Odd noises and lukewarm water are signs your water heater could be misfiring, and that’s an especially strong possibility if your heater hasn’t been inspected and maintained by a professional plumber in a while.

Burst Septic Tank

The main problem with a burst septic tank in the winter is that the frozen ground makes it hard to get to. Just like with other parts of your home’s plumbing system, it’s best to have your septic tank inspected by a plumber. Also, you might want to consider getting a septic pump if you don’t already have one to mitigate potential problems.

Keep yourself from receiving the gift of plumbing problems this holiday season. Take steps to prevent these common catastrophes for better peace of mind.