The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, it can also come with a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes might be frozen? Coastal Service Experts is here to with a couple 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 sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, towels, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, use a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been drenched 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 danger.
If you cannot locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to understand how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.