The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the awful cold, winter can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing about $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Midway Services is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t flowing, 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?
Warning: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you 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 functioning as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any other item with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you are not able to 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?
Like we said before, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber right away. As you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to learn how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn exactly where your water supply valve is located and how to correctly shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.