The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season 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 enlarge, it can create anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual 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 few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty easy 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 won’t refill after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you 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 working as a plug and prohibiting water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, sponges, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing 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 may cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or access the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Like we said before, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start soaking 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 serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.