The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the awful cold, it can also bring a certain 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 result in anything from a minimal leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured 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 might be frozen? Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water line coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. Once you start to 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 working as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, 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 packing towels that have been submerged in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any other item with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you cannot locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional 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 a professional plumber right away. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start mopping up the water with a mop, rags, 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 – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to find out how to shut 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 prep now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.