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Winter Plumbing Problems in Older Pittsburgh Homes

Friday, Sep 22, 23

Winter Plumbing Problems in Older Pittsburgh Homes

As the mercury dips and winter sets in, many residents of older homes in Pittsburgh find themselves grappling with a host of plumbing problems. The harsh winter conditions in Pittsburgh can exacerbate existing issues in your plumbing system and cause significant property damage if left unchecked. That’s why we’ve put together these tips to help you prepare!

Common Winter Plumbing Problems:

Older homes in Pittsburgh, with their unique charm and character, often come with their own set of challenges, especially in the plumbing department. Here are some common winter plumbing problems that you may encounter:

Frozen Pipes:

With Pittsburgh’s cold winter, pipes, especially those in unheated areas like basements and attics, are prone to freezing. A frozen pipe can burst and cause substantial water damage.

What to do: If your pipes are frozen, the first step is to shut off the water supply to prevent potential flooding if the pipes burst. Next, try to locate the area where the pipe is frozen. You can do this by checking for sections that are noticeably colder or have frost on them. Once you’ve found the area, you can attempt to thaw it, always starting from the faucet end and moving towards the frozen section. If you’re unable to locate the frozen section or do not know the proper way to dethaw your pipes, it’s best to call a professional plumber immediately.

Corroded Pipes:

Older homes often have pipes that are past their prime. Over time, these pipes corrode and can eventually burst, leading to significant leaks and potential water damage.

What to do: If you discover that your pipes are corroded, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage. Corroded pipes can lead to leaks, water damage, and even health issues due to contaminated water. First, identify the extent of the corrosion by examining all visible piping for signs of discoloration, flaking, or leaks. If the corrosion is minor and localized, you might be able to replace just that section of pipe.

However, widespread corrosion often requires a complete repiping of your home’s plumbing system. It’s advisable to contact a professional plumber to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action. Regular inspections and maintenance can help prevent serious corrosion issues in the future.

Water Heater Failure:

In the frosty Pittsburgh winter, your water heater works overtime to provide hot water. This extra strain can expose underlying issues or hasten the failure of an aging unit.

What to do: If your water heater fails or shows signs of failure,  first, ensure your safety by turning off the power supply to the water heater. If it’s a gas heater, make sure to turn off the gas valve. Then, call an expert to come out and repair or replace your water heater.

Clogged Sewer Lines:

Freezing temperatures can cause sewer lines to clog, leading to backups in your home’s plumbing system.

What to do: Start by turning off any water sources to prevent further backup. Next, try to identify the source of the clog if possible. Common culprits can include tree roots, flushed objects, or a buildup of waste. Be careful when determining the source as sewer lines pose a potential health risk. Also, backups can lead to contamination of your water supply and other areas. Make sure to call a certified plumber to keep your home safe from harmful bacteria.

Leaky Faucets or Toilets:

Leaks may seem minor but can lead to significant water waste and damage over time. Cold weather can exacerbate these problems as parts contract and seals weaken.

What to do:  Start by turning off the water supply to the faucet to prevent further leakage. If possible, try to identify the source of the leak. It could be due to a worn-out washer, a damaged valve seat, or even frozen pipes.

Getting Help From Experienced Pittsburgh Plumbers

At 412 Plumbing, we understand the unique challenges of Pittsburgh’s winter and older homes. Our team of professional, NASSCO-certified plumbers are equipped to handle both residential and commercial plumbing issues. From trenchless sewer repair to water heater installation, we offer a range of services to ensure your home’s plumbing system is in top shape. Contact us to learn more or schedule your appointment!


What Our Customers are Saying…

Highly recommend 412 Plumbing. Our hot water tank wasn’t working and they were able to send someone out that same day and fixed it in no time! Will definitely be using their services in the future. Very friendly and explained what happened in detail so we can fix the issue ourselves in the future if it were to happen again!


I can’t say enough good things about this company. The water in my tub would not shut off. Brett was here within an hour. Very nice young man. Excellent job and reasonable price. Will definitely use him again.

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