The winter cold brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the bitter cold, winter can also usher in a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can cause anything from a minimal leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from burst 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 could be frozen? Knochelmann Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you see 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 seems pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind 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 aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could leak all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and prohibiting water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that may come flowing out, find a space heater, heat lamp, 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 propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or any other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire risk.
If you cannot locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come out 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 are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start cleaning 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 – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand how to power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly 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.