The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the nasty cold, it can also bring a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can result in 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 typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical 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 covered in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t coming out, 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 become water and that water could end up all over your floors if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, find a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been submerged in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to locate or get to 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 – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.