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Winter Plumbing Maintenance – How To Handle Cold Weather Issues  

As the temperatures drop and winter settles in, it’s time to start thinking about protecting your plumbing from the harsh effects of cold weather. Frozen pipes, burst valves, and slow drains are just a few of the plumbing problems that can plague homes and businesses during the winter months. But don’t worry; with a little preventative maintenance, you can avoid these costly and inconvenient issues.

Vossler Plumbing Company is always ready to step in and help homeowners resolve their top winter plumbing issues. Learn how to take control of your home and make necessary changes so your plumbing never catches you off guard.

Use this convenient guide to educate yourself on how to maintain your plumbing during the cold months. If you find yourself in need of a plumber, please contact us. We are always available for quick, reliable plumbing repairs and new plumbing installations.

1. Insulate Pipes

One of the most important steps in winter plumbing maintenance is to insulate your pipes. Pipes that run through unheated spaces, like basements, attics, or garages, are particularly susceptible to freezing. Insulation keeps the water in your pipes from freezing, which is a common cause of pipe bursts. When water freezes, it expands, putting immense pressure on pipes and leading to cracks or bursts.

How to Do It

  • Use foam pipe insulation sleeves for exposed pipes in unheated areas. These are easy to install and available at most hardware stores.
  • For pipes in particularly cold areas, consider using electric heating tape before insulating.

2. Keep the Heat On

If you plan to be away from your home or commercial building during the winter, make sure to leave the heat on. Keeping your building warm ensures the air around the pipes stays above freezing, reducing the risk of frozen pipes. 

Best Practices

  • Set the thermostat to at least 55°F, especially when the building is unoccupied.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate the plumbing.

3. Seal Leaks and Cracks

Before the cold weather sets in, inspect your property for any leaks or cracks, especially where pipes run through walls or foundations. Even small openings can let in cold air and cause your pipes to freeze.

How to Seal Them

  • Inspect around windows, doors, and where pipes enter your home or building.
  • Use caulking or weather-stripping to seal any gaps.

4. Let Faucets Drip

On extremely cold nights, let your faucets drip slightly. This may seem counterintuitive, but moving water is less likely to freeze. A small trickle of water can prevent your pipes from freezing.


  • Focus on faucets with pipes running through unheated or exterior walls.
  • A slow, steady drip is usually sufficient.

5. Clear Gutters and Drains

Ensure that your gutters and outdoor drains are clear of leaves, debris, and ice. Blocked gutters can cause water to pool and freeze, potentially leading to water damage or ice dams.

Maintenance Tips

  • Clean gutters and downspouts in late fall.
  • Check and clear them regularly throughout the winter.

6. Know Your Main Water Valve Location

In case of a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe, knowing where your main water valve is can be crucial. Being able to quickly turn off the water can minimize water damage. Please make sure everyone in the building knows where the valve is and how to turn it off.

7. Service Your Heating System

Have your heating system serviced by a professional to ensure it’s running efficiently and safely. A well-functioning heating system not only keeps your property warm but also helps prevent your pipes from freezing.

What to Consider

  • Schedule annual maintenance with a qualified technician.
  • Replace any old or inefficient heating components.

8. Respond Quickly to Frozen Pipes

If you suspect that a pipe has frozen, act quickly. You can try thawing it using a hair dryer or wrapping it in warm towels. 


  • Never use an open flame.
  • If you can’t thaw the pipe or if it has burst, call a plumber immediately.

9. Educate Your Tenants or Employees

If you own a commercial building or rent out properties, educate your tenants or employees about how to prevent and handle plumbing issues during the winter.

How to Do It

  • Provide information on preventing and dealing with frozen pipes.
  • Conduct regular briefings before and during the winter months.

10. Professional Inspections

If you have any concerns about your plumbing or if you experience a plumbing problem during the winter, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber. They can diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs to get your plumbing system back in working order

At Vossler Plumbing Company, we have the experience and expertise to handle all of your winter plumbing needs. We offer a wide range of services, including pipe repair, drain cleaning, leak detection, and more. We’re also available 24/7 for emergency plumbing repairs. So, if you have any plumbing problems this winter, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 346-712-0050 to make a request.

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