We've been in a cold snap for about a week with daily highs below -20C. The water is not running to one toilet that is near an exterior wall. To ensure it wasn't something in the tank, I detached the flexible hose from the tank that runs to the wall and no water is coming through there. Is likely a frozen pipe? What do I do now?

Update: We turned up the heat in the bathroom and the room below the bathroom and used a heat gun on the exposed part of the pipe extending from the wall. Eventually it just started flowing again. We'll keep an eye out for drips before cutting open the wall.

1 Answer 1


It could very well be a frozen pipe, it could also be that the valve has become clogged somehow.

The only way to tell for sure if its a frozen pipe is either find the frozen pipe, or wait for it to thaw. If water starts flowing when the temperature warms up then you know it was frozen.

If you have copper pipes, the worst case would be that when it thaws you discover a leak from a burst pipe. With this in mind, it is probably worth opening up the wall to find out for sure - way easier to replace a cleanly cut section of drywall then it is to fix extensive water damage. Once you find the section you need to determine why it froze - is there no insulation in there? Can you remedy that?

  • 2
    I wouldn't prematurely open the walls up, but I'd make darn sure I knew where the shutoff is and kept a close eye out for any water leaking.
    – BMitch
    Jan 25, 2013 at 17:17
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    @BMitch - second that. We had a 3/4" line freeze once (and didn't know it); when we ran the dryer (vent pipe touched the frozen pipe, which is why it froze), the pipe thawed and water came pouring out of the ceiling. As luck would have it, I was standing 5' away and the shutoff was nearby.
    – TomG
    Jan 26, 2013 at 15:23
  • Well, 4 days and no signs of water so I think we're safe. Now to figure out why it froze...
    – Kim
    Jan 29, 2013 at 18:22

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