The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the awful 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 expand, it can create anything from a tiny leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes could be frozen? Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water pipe covered in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could end up all over your house if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, sponges, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been drenched in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire risk.
If you can’t locate or access the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Like we said before, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to learn how to turn 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 practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.