Winter Plumbing Problems

Winter Plumbing Problems

As cool temperatures set in, homeowners prepare to hunker down indoors until the spring thaw by stuffing outdoor equipment in storage, grabbing sweaters and cranking up the heating system. But winter marks more than a change in season. It’s also the time of year when Pennsylvania homeowners experience more plumbing emergencies as a result of dropping temperatures and increased home activity.

Being aware of common winter plumbing problems will help save you time and money while also ensuring your home’s plumbing system stays in top shape all winter long.

Common Pennsylvania Winter Plumbing Problems

Between preparing for upcoming holidays and trying to stay warm and comfortable, most homeowners neglect to keep their home’s plumbing maintained. With bustling family members, harsh climates and dropping temperatures, winter places your pipes and plumbing fixtures under additional strain.

Some of the most common winter plumbing problems that prompt homeowners to call Ranck Plumbing, Heating and AC include:

  • Burst pipes: The most common winter weather emergency is burst indoor or outdoor pipes, which may require excavation to fix. If you haven’t properly winterized your plumbing and your pipes are exposed, cool temperatures will cause the pipes to freeze and leak, eventually bursting and spewing water throughout your home.
  • Water heater failure: If family members are complaining about a lack of hot water or finding the water isn’t as hot as it normally is, check the temperature gauge on your water heater. Cold temperatures mean your water heater is working harder to maintain a consistent temperature, and your unit may be unable to keep up with demand.
  • Clogged drains and disposals: With the holidays in full swing, your home’s drainage system is under more strain. Between food prep sending scraps down the kitchen disposal and more guests using your toilets, your drainage system is more likely to get clogged.

Preventing Winter Plumbing Emergencies

Water naturally expands when it freezes, but that doesn’t mean homeowners have to accept burst pipes and other winter plumbing problems as inevitable. With a few winter plumbing maintenance tasks, you can protect the quality of your home’s plumbing and prevent time-consuming and costly winter plumbing emergencies. Get your plumbing ready for winter with these tips:

  • Look for leaks: Check around cupboards, plumbing fixtures and faucets for signs of leaking.
  • Disconnect hoses: Protect your indoor plumbing and prevent outdoor hoses from freezing by disconnecting them from outdoor spigots and draining any lines.
  • Get a plumbing inspection: Hire a professional plumber to inspect your water heater and the condition of your pipes and fixtures. This allows you to make any repairs or upgrades early and prevent headaches later.
  • Keep your home warm: Even when you’re away, make sure to keep your indoor temperatures set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer to prevent pipes from freezing. Also, make sure any exposed pipes indoors or outdoors are properly insulated.

My Pipes Have Burst — Now What?


Even the best preparation doesn’t guarantee a winter plumbing mishap won’t ever happen. If your plumbing has burst, quickly identify the water main shut-off valve to stop water flow and reduce damages. While it’s tempting to try making repairs yourself to quickly solve the issue, it’s best to call the professionals at Ranck Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We have the tools and expertise necessary to quickly identify the issue, reduce property damages and determine the most effective solutions.

Call Ranck Plumbing, Heating and AC When You Have Winter Plumbing Problems

Make sure you always have the most dependable and complete residential plumbing repair and maintenance services throughout Lancaster, PA and beyond with the helpful, knowledgeable plumbing experts at Ranck Plumbing, Heating and AC. We can help you complete winter plumbing maintenance or assist you with any plumbing repairs, large or small. If you have burst plumbing or any other winter-related plumbing emergencies, rely on our trained technicians to respond promptly to your request — we even provide 24-hour emergency services.

Schedule winter plumbing maintenance today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 888-997-2695.