The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, the cool season can also bring a particular 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 small leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Golden Seal Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign 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 moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could spill out all over your house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and collected your mop, sponges, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been soaked 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 risk.
If you cannot locate or access the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as possible 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 an emergency occurs to find out 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.