The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also usher in a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can result in anything from a minimal leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Sunbeam Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water line coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t moving, 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?
NOTE: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could leak all over your house if the frozen water has been acting 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 may come flowing out, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, 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 any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire hazard.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a professional 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 ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.