The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But in addition to 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 swell, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a complete 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 about $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Norrell Service Experts is here to with a few 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 easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the sink 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?
First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could leak all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and got your mop, rags, 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 packing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to 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?
Remember, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber ASAP. While you are waiting on the plumber to come, start cleaning 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 give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out how to shut 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.