The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, it can also come with a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can result in anything from a minimal leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes could be frozen? Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple 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 clear indicator 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 in sight. 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 may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut off 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 floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and got your mop, sponges, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly 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 submerged in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or any other item with an open flame, as this might cause a fire hazard.
If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, 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 severe, 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 understand how to power off your water supply. Take a couple minutes 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 valuable time during a plumbing emergency.