The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the awful cold, the cool season can also usher in a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Comfort Masters Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line covered in frost or any swelling 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, 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 aren’t refilling 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 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 leak all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, use 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 any product 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?
As we said, 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 cleaning up the water with a mop, rags, 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 – 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 just where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.