Frozen pipes: The smell that could be a warning sign this winter – what to do


As the temperatures begin to drop across the UK, property owners must be on the lookout for winter-related issues that can arise. Pipes, in particular, can become vulnerable to the harsh climate which creeps in as the thermometer plummets.

“On most occasions, a smell is most likely to emit from toilets or bathroom areas that are located on the ground floor of the property.”

According to experts from Water Safe, if you believe the smell is the result of problems with your water supply, you should “contact your water supplier immediately”.

Regardless of the reason why you think your pipes could be frozen, it is vital you address the issue urgently.

Not only can frozen pipes cut off your water supply, in a worst-case scenario they’re at risk of bursting and flooding your home.

What to do if your pipe is frozen

There are several ways you can thaw a frozen pipe yourself if it has not yet burst.

The Met Office states: “If the worst happens, keep calm, do not panic and if you suspect you have frozen pipes contact your nearest WaterSafe plumber from the UK national accreditation scheme.”

However, there are also some ways you can try and thaw a pipe yourself if you are sure it is frozen.

You must first determine which pipe or pipes are frozen and then turn on the faucets in your property that are fed by the pipe in question. Be sure to turn on both the hot and cold taps.

This will help to relieve pressure within the system and allow the water to escape.

Applying heat to the frozen portion of your pipe – if possible – is recommended, though this should not be done with an open flame.

Instead, some recommended ways to thaw a pipe include using a hairdryer, a portable space heater or hot towels.

Be sure to keep an eye on your pipes during the thawing process.

If you are sure an internal pipe has frozen, turning up the heat in your home can help provide some relief.

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