The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the nasty cold, it can also bring a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported 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 notice a water pipe coated in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple 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 a sign 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. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could leak all over your house if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut 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 saturated 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 may cause a fire danger.
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?
Remember, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you are waiting on the plumber to come, 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 serious, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – 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 some time now to learn just 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.