The cold weather brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the bitter cold, it can also come with a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can cause anything from a small leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.
So what can you do if you think your pipes might be frozen? Rolf Griffin Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water pipe coated 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, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are obvious. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes could be frozen.
So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?
Warning: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut down 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 floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from spilling out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been saturated 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 can’t locate or access 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 – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber right away. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start mopping 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 critical, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out 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 practice now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.