The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, it can also bring a specific 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 create anything from a tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes may be frozen? A1 Chesney Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water pipe coated in frost or any lumps 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 faucet and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling 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, 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 house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, 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 could cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to locate or reach 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 – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. As you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak 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 something terrible happens to find out how to power 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.