The Homeowner’s Guide to Frozen Pipes

Jan 3, 2023

You can be in a position where most local homeowners are concerned. It’s wintertime, and the temperatures are falling. The tap gets turned on, and you can’t see any water flowing. Pipes that freeze are among the most frequently encountered issues homeowners have to deal with in winter. The main reason behind the majority of insurance claims is the damage caused by water, including burst pipes.

It’s no secret that cold winter months aren’t good for the water lines. A single instance of water pipes that fail because of freezing temperatures can cause the entire plumbing system to fail. So, without further delay, let’s begin! This comprehensive guide will cover everything you must know about frozen pipes.

Signs You’ve Got Pipes Frozen at Home

Quick and accurate detection of frozen pipes is essential to avoid further damage caused by this terrifying winter plumbing issue. Here’s how to determine whether your pipes are frozen:

  • Water supply is unavailable, or there is a reduction in water flow through one or several taps
  • Unusual banging, whistling, or clanking sounds coming from pipes or behind walls
  • A visible bulge, crack within an unprotected line
  • A slick of ice residue gets discovered at the pipe’s exposed end

If the pipe affected is behind a wall and has cracked, then freeze it; you could notice less water pressure due to the leak. You might also see indications of water damage on the wall or the floor of your house, which is the closest to where the pipe is.

How to Find Frozen Pipes at Home

A pipe frozen for too long is likely to break and crack. If you’d prefer to take the lead of pinpointing the frozen pipe even while the plumber is still on the way, Here are some steps you could try:

1: Eliminate Exposed Pipes from the List

As previously mentioned, exposed pipes are typically the first to be frozen. Before moving on to the next step, check whether the blockage of ice can get seen within the lines that feed your home or any other exposed pipes inside your home. Be sure to inspect the exposed pipes around the affected shower or faucet. That is the way to determine whether exposed pipes are frozen:

  • It is possible to observe frozen residues on the line, or you could see condensation.
  • There are some slight bulges along the line.

2: Determine the Extent of the Issue

If you’re confident that the issue isn’t in the exposed pipes, here’s what you must do. Turn on all home water and faucets and note those that aren’t functioning. So, whether you discover an unfrozen pipe or don’t, this method will pay off.

  • When all faucets in one room aren’t functioning, the pipe you’re seeking gets split from the mainline that runs through the floor.
  • If all the faucets and water fixtures on the same floor aren’t functioning, the frozen pipe will get located where the water line to both feet splits.
  • Suppose all the water faucets or fixtures within the home are operating. In that case, the frozen water will likely get located in the pipe that delivers water to the house.

3: The Exact Location

Once you’ve determined the pipe most at risk, you’ll need to look for where freezing occurs. If you’re aware of the location of your lines in your home, you can feel the walls along those pipes. If the pipe is frozen, there will be a temperature change that gets handled. While this isn’t an exact procedure, it may be helpful in certain situations.

How to Safely Thaw Frozen Pipes

1: Change the Volume of Your Thermostat

A higher temperature setting on your thermostat can help to melt the frozen pipe. This method saves time because you don’t need to be aware of the tube’s precise location for it to work. It can heat the entire house! Applying this remedy immediately after you realize the line has frozen is recommended.

2: Use an Infrared Lamp

If you’re successful at finding out the damaged pipe’s location, try an infrared lamp to illuminate that location. Infrared lamps deliver direct heat better than standard heaters or lights. That gets done in conjunction with increasing the temperature when the line is indoors.

3: Use Direct Heat

The process of thawing should be delicate if the pipe in question is exposed. If the frozen pipe you’ve found is within the wall, it is first necessary to open it. For pipes that get frozen in the wall and are dry, this procedure is only a last resort option to get considered when you know the location of the frozen pipe. You need help to reach an experienced plumber. You can apply any of these techniques options to direct heat into the line in a safe manner and then thaw it:

  • Heating pads for electrical heating or blankets
  • Automatic heat tapes that use rubber insulation
  • Towels that have gotten soaked in hot water; or
  • A hairdryer.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

People want to avoid facing the challenge of dealing with freezing pipes. By following these guidelines, you can prevent this costly catastrophe:

  • Shut off the water from your outside water hoses and faucets. These water fixtures will be of little or any use in winter, and the pipes they are connected to are also most susceptible to freezing.
  • It would be best if you thought about installing pipe insulation on the pipes at risk of damage. They are placed in uninsulated areas and on walls outside your home.
  • Maintain the same temperature within your home at a minimum of 12 C.
  • If you plan to leave for a prolonged duration, be sure to turn off the water from each water source in your home.
  • Close the garage doors when they are not in use.
  • Cover all windows and doors using weather strips or caulk.

Always Be Aware of Who to Call for 24 Hours Emergency Plumbing Services

We are Ottawa Plumbing Services; we aim to provide top-quality plumbing services. Suppose you’re looking to defrost frozen pipes in your house. In that case, we have the plumbing equipment that will safely and efficiently address the issue. We can also assist with general issues related to plumbing pipes, like pipes replacement because of bursts or cracks. So if you are faced with frozen pipes and need a plumber, call us at (613) 317-1682 or mail us at

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