The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, it can also bring a particular 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 ruptured 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 could be frozen? Church Services is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch 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 seems pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could end up all over your house if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and got your mop, towels, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly 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, kerosene or propane heater, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire risk.
If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Like we said before, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start cleaning up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out how to turn 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 practice now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.