The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, winter can also usher in a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes may be frozen? Teays Valley Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water pipe coated in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are obvious. 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 indicator that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start the process of thawing 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 working as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, towels, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, find a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been drenched in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or anything else with an open flame, as this could cause a fire hazard.
If you can’t locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Like we said before, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to learn how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.