The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a tiny leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published 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 might be frozen? Bob Brown 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 clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the shower 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 may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: 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 leak all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, towels, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, 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 other item with an open flame, as this could cause a fire hazard.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Like we said before, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber immediately. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out 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 practice now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.