The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can result in anything from a minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Strand Brothers 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 bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the faucet 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?
NOTE: 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 spill out all over your house if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, sponges, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, find a heat lamp, space heater, 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 any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire risk.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a licensed 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 – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber immediately. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and contact 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 power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn just 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 valuable time during a plumbing emergency.