The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But in addition to 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 complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in the event 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 notice a water pipe coated in frost or any bulges 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, remember 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 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. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could end up 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 turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, utilize a space heater, heat lamp, 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 may cause a fire hazard.
If you can’t locate or access the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Like we said before, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber right away. 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 severe, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to learn 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.