The winter season brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the awful cold, winter can also come with 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 huge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes could be frozen? TML Service Experts is here to with a few tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water pipe covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it may seem pretty simple to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are obvious. 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 an indicator that your pipes might be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, shut 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 floors if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and gathered up a mop, rags, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that may 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 saturated 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 cannot locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert 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 an expert plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out how to shut off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn just 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.