The cold weather brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, winter 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 swell, it can create anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes might be frozen? Strand Brothers Service Experts is here to with a couple 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 sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty easy 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 an indicator that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your floors if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, rags, and anything else you may 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 access 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?
Like we said before, 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 severe, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to learn how to turn off your water supply. Take some time 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.