The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also come with a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes might be frozen? Atmostemp Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water line covered 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, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are obvious. 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 an indicator that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: 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 melt into water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, utilize a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been saturated 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 might cause a fire danger.
If you cannot locate or get to 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 an expert plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can 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 learn how to turn off your water supply. Take a couple 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 practice now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.