The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the bitter cold, winter 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 cause anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from ruptured 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 may be frozen? Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line coated in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut down 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 functioning as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, sponges, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to understand how to power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.