The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with 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 minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes might be frozen? McElroy Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign 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 visible. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: 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 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, sponges, and anything else you might 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 wrapping towels that have been submerged 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 risk.
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 – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can 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 result in water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little prep now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.