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Top 6 Winter Plumbing Problems and Tips


Unexpected plumbing issues can spring during winter due to some appliances undergoing extra wear and tear. Damaged pipes, defective hot water systems and clogged drains are common problems experienced in both residential and commercial spaces during this season. If not given the proper attention, these issues can leave significant damage to your plumbing system. 

Prevention is vital to avoid costly repairs and plumbing headaches during the colder Melbourne months which we are all too familiar with. Inspecting every single part of the home or commercial space helps avoid such problems. While some preparations can be done by anyone, it is always better to work with an experienced professional. Our Melbourne emergency plumbers at The Local Plumber have been helping property owners in Melbourne prepare their plumbing systems for the cold for over ten years and would be more than happy to assist and guide you with whatever problem you may be experiencing!

Common Plumbing Problems During Melbourne Winters!

Plumbing systems in residential and commercial buildings are both affected by the cold weather. Freezing temperatures in certain areas can get drains clogged and pipes expanding until they break. With the aforementioned being a bigger threat during winter. Water stuck down the drain pipes during this season can cause expansion and break the pipes. It even has the potential to contribute to rattling the foundation of the building, especially those with basements.

But a blocked drain is not the only thing that could happen during this season. Based on our professional daily experience, these are other common plumbing problems during winter.

  • Frozen pipes and burst pipes – Pipes outside the building are more susceptible to freezing. Insulating or lagging the pipes is the most recommended method to prevent frozen pipes. Having them correctly insulated helps get the hot water every individual needs during this season.
  • Damaged sump pump or water pumps – Sump pumps are responsible for taking out excess water from the property’s sump pit, usually located underground. It helps prevent stormwater from getting stuck underneath the property when there’s a record amount of rain. Insulation is also an effective way to prevent winter-related sump pump issues. Water pumps also need the same protection to safeguard them from freezing.
  • Low water pressure – Low water pressure causes frustration when showering or doing the laundry. Clogged pipes due to aging galvanised water pipes and leaking pipes are the usual reasons behind this problem. If this is the case, it is best to have an experienced 24 hour plumbing repair professional deal with the issue.
  • Defective water heaterHot water systems breaking down in winter is a common experience among homeowners and businesses. Several reasons could be behind this problem. Leaking, a malfunctioning thermostat and a pilot light that’s acting up are common factors causing the absence of hot water. There are also instances where homeowners and businesses only found out that their water heater has reached its end of life during winter which is generally 8-12 years for most units.
  • Water and sewer backups – As previously mentioned, clogging is a common occurrence during the colder months. Water backup is a sign of clogging somewhere in the property’s plumbing system. These backups are common when flushing the toilet and while taking a shower. Tree root infiltration is the usual cause of this clogging. Given the heavy work it entails, it is best that homeowners, with the help of a trained emergency plumbing service professional, check whether tree roots are interfering with their plumbing system before winter.

Tips and Tricks to Prevent Winter Plumbing Issues from Occurring

It is possible to prevent such issues from affecting your plumbing system. A good maintenance schedule, especially in strata and commercial properties, is the key to avoiding dealing with common plumbing issues during winter. By routinely getting maintenance service or doing some DIY upkeep, pipes and other plumbing system components will be in their pristine state at all times. 

For those curious about what to do, our 24 emergency plumbing service professionals have a set of things to do before winter. Our  experts recommend doing the following steps to prevent plumbing problems during winter:

  • Drain the hot water unit – Draining the water heater should be done at least once every 12 months. The need to do this helps with preventing debris and sediment buildup from the feed water. Draining the unit at least twice a year is best in places where hard water is common. If you want assistance with this, please consult your local plumber.
  • Maintain The Heat – It is best to keep the heat on, even when no one is at home or in a commercial space during winter. We recommend leaving the heating on a low level to prevent a sudden temperature change. A quick fluctuation in temperature can cause additional pressure on the plumbing system, which could result in an increased risk of cracks and leaks. However if you are using gas heaters, then we recommend disconnecting these devices securely as they can cause a serious health hazard 
  • Clean the sump pump – Sump pumps need to be clean at all times. It is ideal to have routine maintenance to avoid issues, which could leave extremely destructive forms of water damage. 
  • Wrap up the hose – Using the garden hose during the winter is a big no-no. During the cold months, it must be disconnected, drained and stored somewhere it would not be subject to freezing. Leaving it outside during winter can cause leftover water to freeze and cause expansion. This expansion could also extend to connecting faucets and pipes.

Choose the Best Melbourne Plumber to Be Winter-Ready Today!

By working with one of the best plumbers in Melbourne, homeowners and businesses can have peace of mind that they won’t struggle with plumbing issues during winter. Now, the question is how to find a plumber who can provide significant assistance in ensuring a properly maintained plumbing appliance or system. At The Local Plumber, we have the best plumbers who can help. Our entire team have met the requirements set by the Plumbing Regulations Act 2018 and hold a licence from the Victorian Building Authority. These requirements assure our clients that they have the experience and knowledge to handle all preparations needed before winter comes. From checking the state of the hot water system to ensuring there’s no damaged pipe, our Melbourne plumbers can help. We are also experts in providing the best solution to any issue discovered while preparing the plumbing system for the colder months of the year. Contact The Local Plumber now to have the best plumber in Melbourne on your property today. We proudly offer up to 15% off your first plumbing service!

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