The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, it can also bring a specific 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 tiny leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing about $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 sounds pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could spill out all over your house 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 got your mop, towels, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly 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 propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional 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 immediately. While you are waiting 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 possible 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 an emergency occurs to find out how to shut off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.