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How Do You Know If Your Pipes Are Frozen?

Written by Hanna Plumbing & Heating / January 16, 2020

It might not always be obvious, but there are some telltale signs that your plumbing system is frozen. Depending on the location of the frozen pipes and how frozen they are, you may need to call a professional to help.

Slow or Sporadic Water Supply: If nothing comes out when you turn on a faucet, then the waterline may be frozen. If the flow is slow or coming out in spurts, you more than likely have ice buildup somewhere in the waterline.

Visible Frost on Pipes: If you have access to pipes in your home (like under the sink, or behind the washing machine) see if frost is building up. This is one of the easiest ways to identify that a line is frozen. However, just because there isn’t frost on the pipes under the sink doesn’t mean there isn’t freezing somewhere else in the system.

Damp Walls or Floors: Frozen pipes can easily crack or burst as water expands when it freezes. However, not much of your plumbing system is visible, so you’ll need to look around for damp drywall, wet floors, or water spots/rings forming on the ceiling. If you have a leak, turn off the main water supply and call a plumber to help you assess your options.

Odd Smells: When your plumbing is frozen there is nowhere for the odors to go but back into your home. Pay close attention to sinks, toilets, and drains.

If you think your system may be frozen, you don’t want to try and wait it out—a frozen plumbing system can only cause larger and more expensive problems. Call a local professional for a full inspection.

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