Three Cold-Weather Plumbing Emergencies And How To Prevent Them

Cold winter weather can bring with it a host of plumbing problems for homeowners. From frozen pipes to failing hot water heaters, plumbing emergencies can cause a serious disruption in your home. Here are three cold-weather plumbing emergencies and the steps you can take to avoid them.

Sump Pump Failure And Flooding

During extreme cold, your sump pump drainage line can freeze, which prevents the pump from draining water away from your home. This can cause your basement to flood. An emergency plumber can repair the drainage issue to relieve the flooding problem.

To prevent the line from freezing, make sure to clear snow and ice from the area around your drainage line. Your plumber can also help you with preventative measures by installing a device that diverts water to another line in the event that the pump's drainage line freezes.

Water Heater Failure

Your hot water heater can fail due to exposure to extreme cold. If your unit is located in a garage or unheated crawl space or basement, consider placing an insulating hot water heater blanket over the unit to keep your hot water heater running efficiently and to reduce the chance of failure.

You can also insulate the pipes leading to your hot water heater to prevent the pipes from freezing or bursting during extreme weather. If the hot water heater is located in a heated area of your home, make sure that the thermostat in the area is set high enough to prevent freezing, even if you are going to be away from the home for a few days. In the event that your hot water heater stops working, call an emergency plumber to diagnose the problem and restore hot water to your home. Check out websites like for help.

Outdoor Water Line Freezing

Your garden hose or outdoor faucet can be a major source of damage to your home if not properly winterized. You should disconnect any sprinklers or garden hoses for the winter and turn off the water lines leading to these areas. If you fail to do so, these water sources can freeze, causing pressure to build in your plumbing system. The result could be a burst pipe that floods your basement or the main floor of your home.

Talk to your plumber about different ways you can winterize the exterior of your home to prevent water line freezing and the flooding that could follow.

Your emergency plumber can help you get out of a water disaster in the winter, but you can also take certain steps to prevent these emergencies. Talk to your plumber about a winter plumbing inspection to help identify any potential trouble areas and make the corrections needed to prevent a wet winter catastrophe.