The cold weather brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can create anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? All American Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see a water line coated in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are in sight. 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 an indication that your pipes may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, sponges, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, find a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been soaked in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or anything else with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
As we said, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out how to power off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn right 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.