Winter Weather & Plumbing… More Than Just Frozen Pipes


When it comes to humorous cultural stereotypes, one of the oldest in North America is the yearly onslaught of winter for Canadians. Unlike Americans, when we get winter, we get it all over, there’s no southern part of Canada that gets tropical weather the same way Americans do in Florida and California.

So for people that live here during the winter, this means snow, shoveling, short days, long nights and, of course, lower temperatures. This combination of different winter factors can have an effect on your home, specifically your plumbing, and we’re going to cover some of the issues Canadian homeowners need to keep an eye out for to ensure their plumbing operates efficiently and safely during the winter season.

Burst Pipes Because Of The Garden Hose

This is a surprising but easy factor to forget about as the season changes. Once winter arrives, most homeowners aren’t going to be using their garden hose to maintain the yard or wash the car anymore. There’s one important bit of seasonal maintenance that homeowners should do at this time. Once you know you won’t be using the hose, turn off the water supply to it, then empty out the tube and the water pipe that supplies it.

The reason you want to do this is that if you leave water in the hose, there’s a chance it will freeze during the winter. While you won’t care much about this because you’re not using the hose during the season, the presence of so much water in a pipe that may be exposed to the elements means it can freeze. If that water does freeze, it will expand, and can potentially burst the pipe.

This may not happen right at the hose itself either! The break or burst can happen further down the line, in your home. If that should occur, you’ve got a big, potentially expensive problem to deal with.

Water Heater Malfunctions

In the same way that you really put your furnace through its paces during the winter, the same can be said for your water heater. Depending on the layout of your plumbing—and even your town or city water pipeline—the water coming in may be much colder than summer months.

This means that your water heater works harder during the winter, and that extra work put in sometimes results in the worst case scenario; your water heater giving out on you at the one time of the year when you really don’t want it to.

Frozen Pipes

Of course, the most common issue in the winter is when water freezes in the pipes and no longer travels to your tap. If you have exposed plumbing in attics or crawl spaces, sometimes just applying a hair dryer for a few minutes to the pipe is enough to get your water flowing again.

Other times, the blockage may be very severe and to prevent serious damage, such as a line break, you’ll need professional help.

Leave It to The Pros

When the winter weather starts to affect your plumbing seriously, you need an experienced, knowledgeable response. Marco Plumbing has experienced professionals that can quickly get to the heart of your winter plumbing issue, and give you the solutions you need to get your water back up and running. Contact us for help, or more information!