The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the awful cold, winter can also bring a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can result in anything from a minimal leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes could be frozen? Parker Pearce Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line covered in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the sink 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 an indication that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could end up all over your floors if the frozen water has been acting 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, use 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 – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, 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 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 practice now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.