The cold weather brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, it can also come with a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause 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 typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes may be frozen? Roland J. Down Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could end up all over your house if the frozen water has been working as a plug and preventing water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been submerged 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 may cause a fire risk.
If you are not able to locate or get to 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 – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to come, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to learn how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.