The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the nasty 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 create anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes could be frozen? Becht/Givens Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line covered in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty straightforward 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 a sign that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could end up all over your house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, use a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been submerged 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 may cause a fire risk.
If you cannot locate or get to 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?
Like we said before, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start cleaning 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 critical, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to learn how to shut off your water supply. Take a few 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 prep now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.