The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also usher in a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can create anything from a minimal leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes could be frozen? Peachtree Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water line coated in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the shower 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 could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. Once you start to 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 working as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been soaked 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 might cause a fire hazard.
If you cannot locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to visit 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 professional plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to come, start mopping up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take a few 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 preparation now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.