The winter cold brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the awful cold, it can also bring a particular plumbing program – frozen pipes.
When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and expand, it can create anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published 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 if you think your pipes may be frozen? Broad Ripple Service Experts is here to with a couple tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you catch a water line covered in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty easy 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 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?
NOTE: before you start working to thaw your pipes, shut off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your floors if the frozen water has been working as a plug and stopping water from leaking out of your pipes.
Once you’ve turned off the water, and got your mop, rags, and anything else you could 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 product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire danger.
If you cannot locate or reach the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come out 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 professional plumber right away. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start cleaning up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.
Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to understand how to power off your water supply. Take some time now to learn exactly 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.