The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, it can also usher in a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? Eveready Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds 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 aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. Once you start 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 working as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, towels, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been drenched in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or anything else with an open flame, as this may cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to 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?
Like we said before, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak 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 cause water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to learn how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes 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.