The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, it can also usher in a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can cause 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 usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water line coated in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple 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 flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, find a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been drenched 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 hazard.
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 a professional plumber ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand 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 preparation now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.