Can Cold Weather in Texas Damage Your Water Heater?

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For residents living in Frisco and surrounding North Dallas cities, cold weather can have a major impact on the performance and life of your water heater. Before February of 2021, many residents in North Texas didn’t think too much about our mild winter weather. However, Winter Storm Uri caused a significant amount of damage to pipes and water heaters. In fact, it has already surpassed Hurricane Harvey with more than 15 billion in insured losses. 

As such, it is important to be prepared and schedule proper water heater maintenance and repair service. If you find yourself with a damaged water heater, be sure to give Legacy Plumbing a call. We are your reliable Frisco residential plumbers with the skills needed to get the job done. 

Can A Hot Water Heater Freeze?

Tankless water heaters have built-in ‘freeze protection’ so they are unlikely to freeze as long as you have electricity. Freezing can happen after extended periods of power outage mixed with freezing temperatures.

Typical natural gas tank style water heaters don’t need electricity to continue operating, so as long as gas is still supplied to the home, the water heater will continue to maintain the tank at the correct temperature.

If the gas goes out, or if it is an electric tank style water heater, the chance of the water freezing is still very low due to the thermal mass of the tank and the built-in insulation. The biggest danger of freeze-breaks is with the water lines that are serving the water heater.

How Does Cold Weather Affect a Water Heater?

The last thing most homeowners worry about is their plumbing. However, it’s an integral part of the comfort and functionality of your home. One major impact on your plumbing is the weather, and during the winter season, cold temperatures can quickly result in serious plumbing issues.

Cold weather can freeze your pipes, causing overexpansion. This leads to burst pipes and forces your water heater to work harder than usual. In some instances, it results in smaller leaks that can go unchecked and cause major damage long term.

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5 Signs Your Water Heater is Damaged

An important part of quickly repairing damages is identifying them. Five signs that your water heater needs repairs or maintenance include:

Water Leak

The easiest sign to detect that something is amiss is a leak. Cold weather can actually cause the plumbing in and around your water heater to expand and contract. With older units, this can actually result in cracks, which will cause water to leak into your home, resulting in significant structural damage.

High Energy Bills

As mentioned before, cold weather can cause water heaters to work even harder, especially if they are located in an unheated area. If you notice that your energy bill is spiking more than usual during the winter months, look to your water heater as the possible culprit.


Rust can signal either the existence of a leak, or the fact that your water heater is old. In some instances rust can even transfer into the water itself, causing discolored water to flow from your taps and sinks.

Noisy Operation

Water heaters should work quietly and efficiently. If you notice that yours is making noises including banging and knocking during operation, there may be a buildup of sediment causing the problem.

Fluctuating Temperatures

Is your home running out of hot water quickly? Is it hardly heating water at all? Inefficient water heating is always a sign that your water heater is in need of repair or, at the very least, maintenance.

In the event that you need a repair, or you simply want our trained plumbers to inspect your water heater, be sure to give Legacy Plumbing a call.

How Can You Prevent Cold Weather Water Heater Damage?

The key to keeping your water heater safe during the winter season is performing preventative care. One way to do this is through regular maintenance. This will include a general inspection, the replacement of old or damaged parts, and, in some instances, flushing the water heater.

Another great maintenance tip, especially to combat cold weather, is the installation of pipe insulation. These pipe wraps will keep your plumbing protected from the harsh temperatures, and also help prevent freezing pipes.

Is cold weather causing damage to your water heater? Are you looking for a reliable company for repairs and maintenance? At Legacy Plumbing, we’re your residential plumbing experts, and we can help with all your Texas plumbing needs.



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