The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, winter can also bring a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from ruptured 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 may be frozen? Coastal Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see 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 seems pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind 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?
First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and preventing water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, sponges, and anything else you might 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 anything else with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.
If you cannot locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional 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 licensed plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible 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 an emergency occurs to understand how to power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.