The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, winter can also come with a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? D & K Heating Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water pipe coated in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling 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 working to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your floors if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, sponges, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, 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 propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you cannot locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a licensed 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 a professional plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, 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 some time 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.