The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also usher in a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes may be frozen? Chief/Bauer Service Experts is here to with some 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 may seem pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the sink 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 a sign that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut down 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 house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, towels, 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 soaked in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire hazard.
If you cannot locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber ASAP. While you are waiting 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 possible before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, 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 find out how to turn off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn right 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 crucial time during a plumbing emergency.