The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, winter 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 expand, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said 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 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 bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the faucet 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?
NOTE: 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 melt into water and that water could end up all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, utilize a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been soaked 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 could cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional 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 give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out how to shut off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just 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.