The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the bitter cold, it can also come with a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can create anything from a small leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Climate Control Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, towels, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, find a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any other item with an open flame, as this could cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to locate or access the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber immediately. As you wait on the plumber to come, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to learn how to power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.