The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, winter can also bring a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Pardee Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line covered in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indicator 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, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, towels, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, find a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping 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 could cause a fire risk.
If you can’t 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?
Like we said before, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you 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 something terrible happens to understand how to power 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 practice now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.