The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also usher in a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Comfort Masters 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 covered 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 straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, rags, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, find a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp 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 anything else with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come to 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 ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to come, start mopping up the water with a mop, towels, 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 contact your insurance agent – the majority 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 exactly where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.