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 bring a specific 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 typical homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Climate Control Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water pipe coated in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty easy 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 flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: 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 melt into water and that water could leak all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, sponges, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, find a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been submerged 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 may cause a fire risk.
If you are not able to locate or reach 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 arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, 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 find out how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.