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How Cold Weather Affects Your Plumbing System

As we reach the end of summer here in South Carolina, it’s time to start preparing for the colder months. Soon, temperatures will begin to drop, which means now is the perfect time to get your plumbing system ready to take on winter! Each winter, we get plenty of calls about frozen pipes, burst pipes, leaking water lines, broken water heaters, and other plumbing problems caused by freezing temperatures. During the colder months, ground temperatures drop significantly, which can wreak havoc on your plumbing systems. Continue reading to learn more about how cold water affects your plumbing system and what you can do to prevent major plumbing problems this winter.

Water Heaters

Is there anything worse than having a broken water heater in the dead of winter? We don’t think so either. Your water heater works hard enough all year long, but during winter, it works much harder than usual to warm your water. Due to both an increase in demand for hot water during the colder months and water being brought to the water heater at much lower temperatures, your system goes into overdrive and experiences its fair share of wear and tear.

Without proper maintenance leading up to winter, it is very common for water heaters to experience problems or completely break down once the temperature drops.

Some of the common water heater issues during winter include:

  • Extremely high energy bills
  • Strange sounds coming from the water heater
  • Not enough hot water
  • Water leaking from the water heater
  • Rust
  • Fluctuating temperatures


Frozen pipes are one of the most common plumbing problems we experience in the winter. As temperatures drop to below freezing, pipes can become frozen. Signs that your pipes are frozen include bad odors coming from the sink, little to no water coming out of your faucet, and of course, visible frost on the exterior of your pipes. When left untreated, frozen pipes can cause major plumbing disasters.

When water freezes, it expands and creates blockages in your pipes. Once a blockage is large enough, water struggles to flow through your pipes, which creates a significant amount of pressure. When enough pressure has built up in frozen pipes, it is common for pipes to crack or burst, causing extensive damage to your home.

Burst pipes can flood your home and damage your:

  • Floor
  • Furniture
  • Electrical wiring
  • Floor joints
  • Walls
  • Appliances

And, if ignored, this water damage can lead to mold and mildew growth in your home.


While you should never pour grease or oil down your kitchen sink, it is especially important not to do so during wintertime. Pouring grease and oil down cold or frozen pipes can cause these substances to freeze and create serious blockages in your drains. Sometimes, you can fix the issue by pouring hot water down your drains, but more often than not, you’re going to need to call in a plumbing professional to solve the problem.

Tips for Preparing Your Plumbing System for the Winter

To minimize your chances of experiencing a plumbing problem this winter, there are a few things you can do.

Use the following precautionary measures:

  • Let water drip from your faucets
  • Bring your garden hose indoors
  • Avoid pouring grease or oil down the pipes
  • Use pipe sleeves
  • Insulate pipes
  • Keep your garage closed
  • Insulate your water heater
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater
  • Drain your swimming pool
  • Schedule water heater maintenance

For 24/7 Service, Call The Plumbing Experts!

Don’t let plumbing headaches get you down—turn to The Plumbing Experts the moment you notice something is wrong with your system. We have the state-of-the-art tools, advanced technology, and expertise necessary to combat any plumbing problem brought on by colder weather. From leaking water heaters to frozen pipes to clogged drains, our team is here to make all of your plumbing problems go away. Our licensed and insured plumbers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide reliable solutions and peace of mind.

Call (864) 210-3127 or contact us online to schedule service.