Common Winter Plumbing Problems

  1. Frozen Pipes: In winter, unprotected pipes are at risk of freezing, potentially leading to blockages or burst pipes. To prevent this, maintain a steady temperature in your home by keeping the heating on, and drain outside taps occasionally to release built-up pressure.
  2. Water Heater Failure: As temperatures drop, water heaters work harder, increasing the likelihood of failure, especially in older systems. Consider the age of your water heater and be prepared to replace it if necessary, especially before the coldest months.
  3. Water Mains Leaks: Frozen pipes can lead to splits and leaks due to increased pressure from blockages. Prevent this by taking steps to avoid frozen pipes, such as keeping your home heated and draining outside taps.
  4. Faulty Heating: Sudden demands on heating systems in winter after months of inactivity can lead to breakdowns. Avoid this by gradually increasing heater usage as winter approaches, rather than abruptly turning it on full blast after a long period of disuse.


While plumbing problems aren’t restricted to the winter months, they are certainly more common – and more difficult to deal with. With this in mind, Around the Bend would always recommend having a full winter plumbing checkup before you head into the colder months.

To raise awareness for this, we’re going to be listing some of the most common winter plumbing problems that you might encounter as the mercury falls.

icicles hanging from a frozen pipe

Frozen pipes

When temperatures fall past a certain point, pipes are at risk of freezing over. If they are unprotected, that is.

Here are a couple of ways that you can guard against frozen pipes:

  • Heating – Keeping your heating on will make sure your pipes stay at a warm temperature, making it difficult for them to freeze. You don’t need to have your heating on too high, just at a steady temperature to keep the frost at bay. Make sure you find the right balance between keeping your pipes warm and keeping costs down; you don’t want to be faced with an unwelcome bill at the end of the month.
  • Draining – Frozen pipes can be caused by pre-existing blockages that simply freeze over, rendering your pipes useless until the situation is resolved. You can combat the possibility of blockages by draining your outside tap every so often. Letting your tap run can release some of the extreme pressure that builds up between the tap itself and any ice blockage. If there’s no pressure, then the risk of a burst pipe is lessened.


Water heater failure

There’s nothing worse than heading upstairs for a hot shower after a long, wintry day, only to find that your water heater is on the blink.

Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly uncommon.

In the winter, your water heater has to work much harder than usual, and the heater itself will only last for ten years or so.

This is worth keeping in mind as we head into January, especially if you’re working with an older system that might need replacing.

Repairing Leaking Pipes

Water mains leaks

Frozen pipes aren’t just a problem in and of themselves, they can also cause your pipes to split and leak.

This happens in the following way:

Standing water freezes and creates a blockage in your pipes.

If your pipes are left long enough, pressure will build up over time.

Once this pressure reaches a certain point, your pipes will simply split.

To guard against this, you can refer to the tips that we offered in earlier in the article.


Faulty heating

The problem with heating systems is that we shut them off during the summer, but demand a great deal of them in the winter.

This rapid change in usage can lead to breakdowns.

The fix? Slowly ease your heating into winter by putting it on low for short periods of time, rather than cranking it up to full once Christmas has passed.

Here at Around The Bend Plumbing, we pride ourselves on delivering professional and reliable plumbing services at competitive prices for all of our customers in Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Brighton, Eastbourne, and Worthing. Around the Bend Plumbing also offer a comprehensive range of plumbing services including, kitchen plumbing, bathroom plumbing, toilet & sink unblocking, radiator plumbing, plumbing repairsfixing burst pipes and leaks & central heating services. If you’re having problems with your plumbing, get in touch with a friendly member of our team today and we’ll make sure your issue is remedied as quickly as possible.


Talk to us

A: Around The Bend Plumbing
Archer House, Britland Estate
Northbourne Road
BN22 8PW

E: [email protected]

T: 0800 756 5115

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