The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season 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 swell, it can result in anything from a minimal leak, to a huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Mountainwest Service Experts is here to with a few 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 sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may 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 submerged in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or anything else with an open flame, as this could cause a fire hazard.
If you can’t locate or access the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to visit 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. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start soaking 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 serious, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to understand how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn exactly 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 valuable time during a plumbing emergency.