The winter cold brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season can also bring a certain 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 ruptured pipes is one of the most common 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? Falso Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water pipe covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t coming out, 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?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could leak all over your house if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been drenched in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any product with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Remember, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to get there, start cleaning 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 severe, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – a large number of 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 some time now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.