The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also usher in a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard 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 some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch 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 seems pretty easy 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 moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: 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 turn into water and that water could end up all over your house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, and anything else you could 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 placing towels that have been soaked in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any other item with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or access the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home 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 come, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to find out how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.