The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also bring a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in case you think your pipes might be frozen? Boehmers/Cronin Emery Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe 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 straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could leak all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been drenched in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or any other item with an open flame, as this could cause a fire hazard.
If you are not able to locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to come to 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 licensed plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, 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 – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn right 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.