Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also bring a certain 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 small leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing about $5000.

So what can you do in case you think your pipes might be frozen? BW/Cook Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with some tips.

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you notice a water line coated 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 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?

Warning: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could leak all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.

Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may 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 soaked in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire danger.

If you are not able to locate or access the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit 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 an expert plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, 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 – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.

Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to learn 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 crucial time during a plumbing emergency.

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