The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season 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 small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes could be frozen? R & M Climate Control Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear 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 obvious. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indication that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could spill out all over your house if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and got your mop, towels, and anything else you might 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 packing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or access 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?
As we said, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you are waiting on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out how to power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.