The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, it can also come with a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can create anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes might be frozen? Strand Brothers Service Experts 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 lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, find a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp 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, kerosene or propane heater, or any other item with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to find out how to shut off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.