How to Find a Frozen Pipe

Young woman with concerned look checking kitchen faucet

Frozen pipes that rupture can be a nightmare for a homeowner. During extreme cold spells, water in pipes will expand as it gets colder and colder, and when cold enough, the water in the pipe will freeze. Ice inside the pipes puts pressure on them, often causing them to burst. A frozen pipe that bursts can lead to massive amounts of water pouring into your home, causing significant and costly damage. Below are some tips on how to locate a frozen pipe in your home and thaw it before it can burst.

How to Find Where Your Pipes Are Frozen

It’s not always easy to tell which part of your plumbing system is frozen. Locating the problem area is vital to thawing the frozen section before disaster strikes. Here are some things you can look for in your search:

Start by turning on each faucet in your home. Little to no water pressure is a strong indicator of a frozen pipe.

  • If the water in one or two faucets runs slowly, your frozen pipe is most likely near those faucets.
  • If all the water fixtures in one room don’t run, the frozen pipe is probably near where that room’s supply line splits off.
  • If the water fixtures on a whole floor don’t work, the frozen pipe is located somewhere around that floor’s fork from the supply line.
  • If all the faucets in your home have low or no pressure, the freeze could be near your main water supply line.

Inspect pipes in the coldest areas of the house first, as those are most likely to freeze. These areas include attics, basements, crawl spaces, and exterior walls. Touching the pipes (if possible) can help you identify freezing as they will be especially cold to the touch and might have condensation on the outside.

Physically check pipes for signs of freezing by looking for condensation, frost, ice, a slight expansion, or bulges in the pipes. This will be easiest in unfinished basements and crawl spaces; it’s nearly impossible to check pipes behind walls and inside floors.

Related Topic: What to Do if You Have Frozen Pipes

Still Can’t Find Your Frozen Pipe?

Are you still struggling to find the frozen pipe in your home that’s causing issues? Pipes are often installed behind drywall, under flooring, or in crawl spaces that are difficult or impossible to access. If your water pressure is low or nonexistent, the weather is below freezing, and you suspect a frozen pipe but can’t locate it, don’t wait until it ruptures. You could quickly find yourself with a house flood cleanup project on your hands.

The trusted plumbing pros at Mr. Rooter Plumbing can find a frozen pipe, thaw it, and if necessary, repair it. Contact us by calling or requesting an estimate online.

If a frozen pipe has already burst in your home, Rainbow International can help. They are an industry leader in water damage restoration services. And because they’re part of the Neighbourly network of home service providers, you can trust them to deliver outstanding results.