The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also come with a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can result in anything from a minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes could be frozen? Comfortech 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 lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes could 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 melt into water and that water could spill out all over your floors if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, 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 placing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or anything else 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 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 right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, rags, 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 – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out how to turn off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn right 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.