How To Know Your Pipes Are Frozen

Frozen pipes can spell disaster for your home plumbing system—and with the icy temperatures we experience every winter here in Minnesota, they are unfortunately all too real a danger. Always make sure you take precautions to protect your plumbing. But if the worst does happen, here’s how to tell if your pipes are frozen.

  • It’s cold enough outside. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it bears mentioning. Pipes can only freeze if the outside temperature falls below freezing. If you are having issues with your plumbing but the outside temperature is above 32 degrees, you have a different problem on your hands.

  • No running water. It’s simple: if your pipes are frozen, water can’t flow. Your faucets will not turn on, your shower won’t run, and your toilet won’t refill after you flush. In some cases, only one section of piping in your system will freeze. It can be a pain to isolate which pipe is the source of the problem, but water flow can help you narrow it down. Turn on all the faucets in your house. Whether the ones that don’t work are confined to a single room, a whole floor, or the entire house will help you locate the frozen pipe.

  • Frostbitten. Once you’ve narrowed down the general location of your frozen pipe, you can identify the exact culprit with a visual inspection. A frozen pipe will likely have a layer of condensation on it or a layer of frost where the condensation froze.

  • Cold to the touch. Sometimes there won’t be any visual indication that a pipe has frozen. In that case, you will have to do a touch test. Any frozen section of piping will be noticeably colder than the surrounding metal.

If you do discover that one or more of your pipes have frozen, act quickly! The sooner you are able to thaw the pipe, the less danger there is of it bursting and causing major damage to your home. Bonfe’s emergency service technicians are on call for immediate service outside normal business hours.

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