Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The winter season 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, it can also usher in a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.

When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can cause anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual 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? Air Engineers Service Experts is here to with some tips.

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes might 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 house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.

Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, find a space heater, heat lamp, 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 anything else with an open flame, as this may cause a fire hazard.

If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.

What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?

Remember, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber immediately. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.

Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out how to turn off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.

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