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 awful 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 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 about $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 sink and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes could 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 turn 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 may need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, use 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 anything else with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you cannot locate or access the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to visit 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 licensed plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and contact 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 turn off your water supply. Take a few 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.