Plumbing pipes serve many importantl functions in your house, but their overall purpose is water distribution for things like water heaters, water softeners, faucets, spigots, washing machines, dishwashers, and other water-related appliances. These systems are designed to work well in most conditions, however, winter weather can pose serious plumbing problems if you are not careful. Freezing temperatures can be highly damaging to pipes. Not only can they weaken their structural integrity, they can greatly reduce or stop their performance. You see, water within your underground plumbing system can quickly turn to ice in sub-freezing temperatures. And when water freezes inside pipes, it obstructs the opening while also making it expand. This  blockage and pressure can cause pipes to crack, break, and burst open.