The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, winter can also usher in a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes may be frozen? Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start the process of thawing 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 leak all over your home 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 got your mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, 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 blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire hazard.
If you cannot locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come to your home 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 licensed plumber immediately. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to learn how to shut off your water supply. Take a couple minutes 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 valuable time during a plumbing emergency.