The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the bitter cold, it can also usher in a certain 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 common homeowners insurance claims, with the standard 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 see a water pipe coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indication 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. As you 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 acting as a plug and preventing water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and collected 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 packing towels that have been soaked 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 might cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come out 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 a professional plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to learn how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.