8 Common Plumbing Issues that Occur During Winter

As the temperature drops and winter sets in, it’s important to be aware of any potential plumbing problems. From frozen pipes to clogged toilets, there are a variety of issues that can arise during the colder months. 

In this blog post, we will discuss eight common plumbing problems as well as some winter plumbing tips. 

Winter Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can disrupt the flow of water

During cold weather, pipes can become frozen due to the temperature drop. This happens when the water inside of your pipes freezes and expands, which eventually prevents water from moving throughout the pipes. 

As temperatures become lower and lower, the risk of frozen pipes increases. Pipes that are located in areas where there is little insulation or those that are exposed to cold outdoor temperatures are especially susceptible. 

Homeowners should insulate their pipes with heat tape or foam sleeves during cold snaps, and take extra caution to ensure their plumbing systems remain functional all winter long.

Clogged Toilets

One of the issues that can arise in cold weather is clogged toilets. Because water expands when it freezes, pipes and water lines throughout the house can experience higher than normal pressure, and this could cause toilets to back up or become clogged. 

The best way to address this issue before it gets out of hand is by having a plumbing professional come in and inspect the home’s plumbing system. Catching a clog early on can help prevent severe damage to the entire line caused by freezing temperatures. 

Additionally, if your bathroom experiences temperatures close to freezing, you should consider insulating those pipes so that they won’t be affected by the cold outside temperatures.

Leaky Faucet

Cold weather can cause a leaky faucet due to pressure changes within pipes and fixtures. When temperatures drop, the water inside the pipes contracts and exerts less pressure in comparison to warmer temperatures. 

This pressure change causes joints in the pipes and fixtures to become weakened, leaving them vulnerable to malfunctions like leaks. 

The key to preventing this is maintenance and preparation; homeowners should check their faucets regularly for signs of damage, make sure they are properly insulated, and, if necessary, install thermostatic valves or other devices that regulate temperature while providing freeze protection. 

If you notice a small drip from one of your faucets, try replacing the washer or cartridge before calling a plumber for help.  

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is another common problem during winter, as cold temperatures cause air bubbles in your plumbing system and reduce the overall flow rate throughout your house. 

The best way to fix low water pressure is by having an experienced plumber inspect your system for any blockages or other issues causing a reduced flow rate throughout your house. 

Dripping Pipes

Dripping pipes can do serious damage and must be dealt with right away

Cold temperatures can also lead to dripping pipes due to condensation forming inside them when warm air comes into contact with cold pipes on exterior walls or ceilings of your home. 

Dripping pipes are more than just a nuisance; they can cause serious plumbing problems if left untreated. The extra moisture in the air due to the dripping water can lead to mould and mildew, which can cause health hazards for anyone in the home. Over time, those tiny drips of water can also add up to gallons wasted – resulting in increased water bills.

Sewer Line Backup

Sewer line backups are another issue that commonly occurs during winter as tree roots tend to grow larger due to increased moisture levels underground leading up to springtime each year which can cause clogs further down the line leading back into your house. 

As backed-up liquid rises into the pipes leading from your house, it creates a risk of severe water damage caused by either the widening of pipe joints due to increased pressure or damaged sewage materials leaking onto nearby property. 

A primary concern for any homeowner is the structural integrity of their home – with sewer line backups. This is especially true since water and waste material can weaken and erode some building components. 

On top of that, sewer line backups present an unsanitary environment that could be hazardous to your health. 

We recommend having an experienced plumber inspect all piping leading out from your house at least once every two years so they can spot any potential problems early on. 

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes occur when freezing temperatures cause large chunks of ice within piping systems, which puts too much pressure on them, eventually bursting open, resulting in massive amounts of damage both inside and outside our homes. 

You can help prevent this by making sure all exposed piping systems are properly insulated before winter’s arrival each year 

Leaky Valves

Cold conditions can wreak havoc on valves, resulting in leaky seals and inefficient operation. When a valve is exposed to low temperatures, the material it is made of contracts. This puts strain on the valve’s seal, leading to cracks that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. 

In addition, naturally occurring condensation in cold environments can inhibit the proper lubrication needed for successful sealing. Each time the valve shifts, unused lubrication will flow out of the seal, further compromising performance. 

It’s important to store valves properly at controlled temperatures year-round. A quick test for leaking valves should also be performed before resuming operation as regular maintenance.

Contact a Rosedale Plumber Today!

As the weather gets colder, we all have to be extra careful about our plumbing. These are just a few of the most common winter plumbing problems you might encounter.

If you are dealing with any of these issues or have other questions about your plumbing, contact us

Our team at Tom Day Plumbing and Drains would be happy to help you troubleshoot the problem and get your home back in working order. Stay warm and dry this winter, and don’t forget to take care of your plumbing! Call us at (416) 480-0622 for reliable Leaside, Forest Hill, or Rosedale plumber services.