The cold weather brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the bitter cold, it can also usher in 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 cause anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Freschi Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water pipe coated in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could end up all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, utilize a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been soaked 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 may cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber right away. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.