The winter season brings enough despair, 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 come with a certain 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 huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes may be frozen? BW/Cook Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe 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 easy 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 may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: 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 become water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking 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, find 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 anything else 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 come out 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 an expert plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start soaking up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in 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 crucial time during a plumbing emergency.