The winter season brings enough torment, 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 bring 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 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 if you think your pipes could be frozen? Comfortech Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice 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 sounds pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind 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?
NOTE: before you start trying to thaw 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 spill out all over your floors if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from spilling 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 any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to locate or access the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to come out 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. While you are waiting on the plumber to come, start cleaning up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, 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 learn 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 preparation now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.