The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the nasty cold, it can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Finch Air Conditioning & Heating is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line coated in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator 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 shower 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 might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: 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 become water and that water could leak all over your house if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and got 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 placing towels that have been submerged in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or anything else with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to 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?
Remember, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out how to turn 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 preparation now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.