The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, it can also usher in a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can result in 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 common homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? Midland Air Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice 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 flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill 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 melt 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 turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, 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, 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 professional plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to come, 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 find out how to turn off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.