How To Tell If Your Pipes Made it Safely Through Frigid Temperatures

Plumber In Austin Frozen Pipes

Well, we’ve had a couple weeks of cold temperatures here in Central Texas, and we here at Roger’s Plumbing hope all your pipes, plants and pets made it through the hard freeze. Assessing whether your plants and pets were unharmed is one thing, but short of a busted, flowing gusher, would you be able to tell if your home’s pipes were damaged and leaking?

Read The Meter: If you live in a single family home the simplest method to determine if you have a leak is to look at your water meter. Turn off all your faucets, make sure your toilet isn’t running, and go look at your meter. If it is moving, you have a leak. The bigger the leak, the faster the meter moves.

No Water: Check with your water company to find out if there is an area outage for some reason. If not, you must assume that you have a leak somewhere. Begin searching immediately and turn off your water main to prevent as much damage as possible.

Sputtering: Sometimes when a water pipe bursts, it doesn’t come all the way apart. The water may not stop completely as a result, but the same cracks that let the water escape the pipe may also draw in air, which is then forced through the lines to the various fixtures in your home. When air is in the line, it will result in a sputtering and spitting at the faucets and it may cause pipes to rattle. This same issue can be caused by other factors, so it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a leak under your house. Leave a faucet running for a few minutes and see if the air clears out of the line or if it seems never ending. It if doesn’t stop, it could be a ruptured pipe.

Dirty Water: If you still have some water pressure after having a partially busted pipe, then it could take some of the surrounding soil into the line with the water. When dirt seeps into the line through a crack and continues to run, it could turn the water muddy and brown. This dirty water is a sign that there is a break in the water line somewhere or else there are materials in the plumbing that are causing the discoloration. When there is a busted pipe, it will typically accompany other symptoms such as sputtering or weak pressure.

Foul Odors: The smell of the sewer is unpleasant and unmistakable. If you smell this foul odor in or around your home, it could mean that the pipes carrying away waste water from your home to the sewer system or the septic tank may have ruptured. This would allow leakage of sewage underneath your house. The odor would likely be apparent quickly.


Here are other key indications that you have a water supply pipe that has burst, or another water leak in your plumbing:

You see water pooling or water damage to areas of the wall, ceiling, or floor.
You hear the hissing sound of water running when all fixtures are turned off.
If you suspect you might have a very small leak, often referred to as a ‘pin hole’ leak in the trade, then the signs can often be extremely subtle. Obviously damp or discolored drywall is indicative of a hidden leak, as is drywall that feels cold or clammy to the touch. Mold growing somewhere, like behind the water heater or AC system air handler might be either a pressure leak or a leak in the condensate system. Mold needs moisture to grow and thrive and is one of the best indicators of a behind the wall problem.

A capable plumber (like the ones here at Roger’s Plumbing) can also confirm a water leak by using a pressure gauge. With the water supply shut off, all fixtures closed, and a pressure gauge attached to your plumbing system, we can verify if find your pipes are not able to hold a consistent pressure over a period of a few hours, indicating a leak. We can also physically inspect your pipes to see a portion of pipe that has split.

Roger’s Plumbing is just a few clicks away! We’re here to serve, 24/7! Or call 512-842-4544! Our Straight-Forward Pricing that lets you know the price BEFORE any work begins takes the fear out of calling an expert plumber! Don’t your pipes deserve the BEST?