The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, winter can also usher in a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can result in anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes may be frozen? Wesley Wood Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line covered in frost or any swelling 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 visible. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, turn off 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 house if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, towels, 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 placing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come out 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 mopping up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out how to turn off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn right 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.