You turn on the bathroom faucet first thing on a cold morning, and only a trickle of water comes out. Your water line froze! If you act quickly, you can still prevent the problem from getting much worse.
1. Determine if there is water leaking from a busted pipe
Stop and listen for the sound of running water. Water freezing in pipes expands, causing the pipe to burst between the freezing point and a faucet. If you know where the water supply enters your home, that will help focus your search. Starting at the place furthest from the water entry point, examine the faucets in your homes and around the exterior to check for running water.
2. If you have found a busted pipe, find the closet shut-off valve
If you do find a leaking pipe, trace it as far as you can and look for a shut-off valve. Valves are typically located at junctions from the main water supply. If you can’t find a shut-off valve, you can usually turn the water off at the main with a shut-off tool or water key.
3. You may be able to thaw the pipe yourself
If you cannot find an active leak, inspect your pipes to figure out where the blockage has occurred. Open the faucets in your house to see which ones work and which ones don’t. If you have access to the pipe where the ice has formed, carefully inspect the pipe to look for small crack that ice may be blocking.
Once you have determined where the blockage is, turn off the water supply that feeds that pipe. Open the faucet at the blocked end of the pipe. You can wait for the pipe to warm up or try to heat the pipe with a hair dryer or heating pad for a faster solution. Do not use a heat gun or blow torch, or you risk harming the pipe and your house! When the water in the pipe has thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check for leaks.