The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful 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 result in anything from a tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported 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 may 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 sounds pretty simple 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 flowing, 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?
First things first: 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 turn into water and that water could end up all over your house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and preventing water from leaking 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, find 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 could cause a fire risk.
If you are not able to 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 licensed plumber right away. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start mopping 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 serious, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – most 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 some time now to learn exactly 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.