Rain isn’t the only thing freezing in winter. If you’re suffering drips and leaks, you might be backed up down below. You might also be experiencing symptoms of a frozen pipe network. All too often, emergency services are needed to determine, locate and eliminate frozen pipes. Sure, drain maintenance, trenchless sewer repair and other options can remedy your icy situation, but a little prevention goes a long way. Below, we at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating run through the best ways to locate frozen pipework—one examination at a time.


Step One: Acknowledge Clogged Pipes


Eventually, icy pipes split—causing massive leaks. Before they do, however, they experience reduced water pressure. Pay attention to a lack of running water, and check out your sink, bathtub, toilet and dish water. You’ll need to check these individually, as separate pipes may be experiencing different temperatures.


Step Two: Check for Direct Frost


Sometimes, checking your pipework directly is the answer. If your home has any exterior piping, look it over. Check any pipes under sinks, near your water heater and in your attic. If the pipe’s exterior is covered in frost—you’re probably dealing with a frozen pipe.


Step Three: Examine Your Attic and Basement


Next, you should check your household’s coldest areas. Typically, attics and basements are susceptible to colder temperatures. So much so, they reveal signs of frozen pipes outside of walls. If wet spots—or even frosty spots—are visible across the walls in your attic or basement, you likely have a frozen pipe problem. Areas suffering from a lack of insulation, too, are susceptible to pipe freezing. Check crawl spaces, thin walls and even bathroom corners.


Step Four: Check Branching Networks


Because your home has crossover pipe networks, you’ll need to determine the source of freezing. If only a few household spots are suffering from lacking water pressure, you’ll need to investigate branched-off areas susceptible to weak insulation. Likely, such areas suffer from thin pipework, too, which is highly effected by cold temperatures.


If your house’s upstairs fixtures aren’t working, freezing might only have occurred in a lower section. Text each floor of your house, and determine freezes on a room-to-room basis. As you go, locate branched-off pipes via your home’s blueprints.


Over time, you’ll be able to determine the source of freezing. Always contact a professional plumber if you’ve encountered frozen pipes. In most cases, experienced personnel are needed to effectively remedy a frozen pipe system—no matter its size. Frozen pipes can split, if they’re not tended to. Take your time, contact your provider and make your home’s health a priority.