The winter season brings enough despair, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But on top of sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also usher in 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 result in anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing around $5000.
So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? San Antonio Air Service Experts is here to with some tips.
How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe
If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any swelling within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it sounds pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets won’t refill after your flush, that’s also an indication 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, turn off your home’s water supply. As you 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 acting as a plug and prohibiting water from escaping out of your pipes.
Once you’ve shut down the water, and collected your mop, towels, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try packing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any product with an open flame, as this might cause a fire danger.
If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.
What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?
Like we said before, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber immediately. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as possible 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 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 prep now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.