Question: Are my pipes frozen? How do I tell if my pipes are frozen?
Answer: Recognizing the signs of a frozen pipe is essential during the winter months. Frozen water expands causing the pipes in your home to burst. Knowing what to search for gives you time to thaw your pipes or call a plumber before the pipe burst.
What You Can Do
If you can see the pipes of concern, you tell if your pipes are frozen by the visible frost. When the temperature reaches freezing, look at your exposed pipes in basements, crawl spaces, attics, and other unheated areas. If the pipes have frost on them, they are frozen or are about to freeze.
Turn off the water supply to the frozen pipes and drain the pipes to reduce pressure build-up avoid a leak or a busted pipe. Once the water is off, begin thawing the pipes out. Have a bucket, towels or a mop close in the event that you pipe cracks. The crack in the pipe may not be found until the ice thaws.
You could also call a professional to thaw the pipes and make repairs if needed. Another sign is turning on the sink faucet and no water comes out, the stream is slow or inconsistent, could mean you have a frozen pipe. If notice your walls are damp, your carpet is wet, or you see rings on the ceiling, you could potentially have a pipe leak. A professional will be able to locate the frozen pipe and/or leak and take care of the problem correctly.
Visit the ultimate guide to frozen pipes for details on preventing pipes from freezing, identifying frozen pipes, and safely thawing frozen pipes.