The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, it can also bring a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes could be frozen? Calverley Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line coated in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up 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 the process of thawing your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could end up all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, utilize a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp 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 get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to come, start cleaning 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 contact your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.