The winter season 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 swell, it can create anything from a minimal leak, to a complete 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 in case you think your pipes may 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 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 a sign 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, turn off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn 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 turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, sponges, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping 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 could cause a fire risk.
If you cannot locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert 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. While you are waiting on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you can 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 a few minutes 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 valuable time during a plumbing emergency.