The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the bitter cold, it can also usher in a specific 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 create anything from a minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes could be frozen? Komfort Air Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your house if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, sponges, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, find a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been saturated 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 may cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber immediately. While you are waiting on the plumber to get there, start mopping up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to find out how to power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right 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 crucial time during a plumbing emergency.