The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful 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 cause anything from a minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes may be frozen? Abbey Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, remember 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 won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and preventing water from leaking 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, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or anything else with an open flame, as this might cause a fire risk.
If you are not able to locate or access 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 – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand how to turn 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 preparation now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.