The winter season brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? Atmostemp Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water line covered in frost or any swelling 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, keep in mind 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 could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start trying to thaw 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 end up all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned 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 heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been submerged 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 licensed plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber right away. 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 give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to learn how to shut 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.