The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, the cool season can also usher in a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can create anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes could be frozen? Neal Harris Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe coated in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping 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, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come to 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 licensed plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to learn how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.