The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also come with 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 about $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? A1 Chesney Service Experts 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 clear indicator 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 won’t refill after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you 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 preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, 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 any product with an open flame, as this may cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to locate or access 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 – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber right away. 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 give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in 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 exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.