The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season can also come with 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 create anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes could 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 pipe coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator 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 in sight. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes may 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. Once you start to 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 stopping water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you may 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 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 could cause a fire hazard.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber immediately. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to find out how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn exactly 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 crucial time during a plumbing emergency.