The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, winter can also bring a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes might be frozen? Stark Services 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 indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling 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. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your house if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, find a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing 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 might cause a fire hazard.
If you cannot locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come out 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 an expert 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 critical, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to learn how to turn off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn right 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.