The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also come with 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 small leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Golden Seal Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see 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 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 moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also a sign 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. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could end up 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 may need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, 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 any product with an open flame, as this may cause a fire risk.
If you cannot locate or reach 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 – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – most 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.