The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also usher in a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? Norrell Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line covered in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or any other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to come, start mopping up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to soak 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 – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out how to turn off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.