A close-up of a valve

5 Signs You Might Have a Frozen Drain Pipe

Frozen pipes are a relatively common issue during winter and a very annoying one at that. There are a number of reasons why your pipes might end up freezing. Most of them you can avoid through regular maintenance and care, but no method is perfect. Regardless of what you do, you might, eventually, end up with a frozen pipe in your home. As such, knowing how to spot a frozen pipe before it can cause severe damage is very important. Thankfully, most of the signs are pretty obvious and are easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. So, in order to help you keep your plumbing safe, we’ve put together a list of 5 signs you might have a frozen drain pipe, and we hope you find it helpful.

1 Visible frost on a pipe

The first and most obvious sign you might have a frozen drain pipe is visible frost on the pipe itself. When there is frost forming on the outside of a pipe, chances are that the pipe is completely frozen on the inside. In this situation, shut off the water to that part of the home and immediately call a plumber. Don’t, under any circumstances, try to turn on the tap connected to the frozen pipe. This is because any water which might go through the pipe will add to the problem and make it worse. In these situations, it’s imperative to act quickly, as the problem can escalate quite quickly. Under the best circumstances, fixing water damage is very annoying and expensive. Having to do it in the middle of winter is even more problematic, so fixing the issue before it escalates is your best choice overall.

2 Strange sounds coming from the pipes

You might have a frozen drain pipe if you hear strange noises, such as gurgling or banging from your pipes. These sounds are typically caused by pieces of ice passing through the pipes, which can indicate a couple of things. The most common of those things is that the pipe has just started to freeze or has begun to thaw. Either way, you’ll want to ensure the pipe isn’t in danger of bursting before it thaws. We recommend calling a plumber, as doing plumbing work by yourself can be dangerous. Doing it yourself can further damage your plumbing and even hurt you. So, trust us when we say that contacting a professional is, by far, the best choice when you need plumbing work done.

3 Unpleasant smells from the pipes

A frozen pipe can completely block the flow of water through it, but this isn’t the only thing that gets blocked. Whatever goes down your drain will also get stuck in the frozen pipe, which can cause unpleasant smells to seep into your home. All in all, this is a minor inconvenience compared to the other dangers of frozen pipes. But, if anything, it serves as an excellent indicator that something is wrong with your plumbing. So, if you can feel a nasty smell in your home without any obvious source, consider checking the pipes. And if you plan to move out this winter, keep in mind that experts from Movers Not Shakers recommend checking the plumbing as one of the first things you do after the move. After all, there’s no way to know everything is fine without checking, so why take the risk?

4 Weak water pressure or no running water at all

Another very clear indication of a frozen pipe is if you turn on the tap and no water comes out. Or, if water does come out, the pressure is much lower than usual. Needless to say, this is caused by ice building up inside your pipes and blocking water flow. If this happens, immediately shut off the water to that part of your home and contact a plumber. 

After all, you have no way of knowing how serious the problem actually is. So, contact professionals to help out and let them handle the situation. And when it comes to avoiding these problems in the first place, keep in mind that maintaining your plumbing is a great way to reduce the chances of things going wrong. The smoother your plumbing system works, the lower the chances of any problems, so remember to take care of your plumbing.

5 Keep an eye out for leaks

In extreme cases, frost buildup can end up cracking your pipes or even causing them to burst. As such, keep an eye out for leaks throughout your home. And if you do spot one, act immediately to stop it, first by shutting off water to the area of the home and then calling emergency plumbing services. 

Leaks and burst pipes can quickly escalate into costly problems, so don’t take your chances when dealing with them. After all, when it comes to repairing your home, the best way to deal with it is to avoid it in the first place. So, make sure you do everything you can to prevent frozen pipes, and always watch for signs that may indicate a problem. Being proactive and acting quickly is equally important to successfully avoid severe damage to your home.

Five signs you might have a frozen drain pipe – closing thoughts

All in all, the signs of a frozen pipe in your home should be obvious when you know what to look out for. And a good thing, too, because frozen pipes can cause severe damage to your home if ignored for too long. Remember, plumbing issues tend to escalate very quickly when they happen, so getting them fixed as soon as possible is vital to protecting your home. We hope that this list of five signs you might have a frozen drain pipe helps you out, and we wish you a great rest of your day.