The winter season brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, it can also usher in a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can result in anything from a small leak, to a huge 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 if you think your pipes may be frozen? Levy & Son Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, remember 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 a sign that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: 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 become water and that water could end up all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, utilize a heat lamp, space heater, 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 propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire danger.
If you can’t 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 – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber right away. While you wait 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 critical, go ahead and contact 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 shut 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.