The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season can also come with a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes may be frozen? D.A. Bennett 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 lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut down 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 working as a plug and preventing water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, utilize a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been drenched in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or anything else with an open flame, as this might cause a fire risk.
If you can’t locate or access the frozen water pipe, call an expert 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 ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you possibly 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 an emergency occurs to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.