The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the nasty cold, it 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 complete 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 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 seems pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, just note that not all plumbing pipes are visible. 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 may be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
First things first: before you start the process of thawing 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 leak all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, rags, 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 wrapping towels that have been soaked in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or anything else 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 – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to understand how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right 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 crucial time during a plumbing emergency.