The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing 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 temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can result in 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 common homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare 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 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 in sight. If you turn on the faucet 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?
First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could leak 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 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 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 might cause a fire risk.
If you can’t 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?
As we said, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to come, start mopping 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 severe, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to understand how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.