The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, it can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line coated in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are obvious. 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 indication that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, find a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing 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 might cause a fire risk.
If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to learn 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 preparation now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.