Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, winter 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 expand, it can create anything from a minimal leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.

So what can you do in case 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 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 straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes might be frozen.

So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?

Warning: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.

Once you’ve shut off the water, and got your mop, sponges, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been soaked in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire risk.

If you cannot 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 – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. While you are waiting on the plumber to get there, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause 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 exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.

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