Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The winter season brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, it can also bring a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.

When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can create anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.

So what can you do in the event you think your pipes may be frozen? Broad Ripple Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a few tips.

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you catch a water line covered in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty easy 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 refilling after your flush, that’s also an indicator that your pipes might be frozen.

So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?

NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could end up all over your floors if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping water from spilling 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 could potentially 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 saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or anything else with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.

If you cannot locate or access the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to visit your home and inspect your pipes.

What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?

As we said, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.

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