Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season 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 result in anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.

So what can you do in case you think your pipes may be frozen? Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to with a couple 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 sounds pretty straightforward 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 could 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 leak all over your house if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.

Once you’ve shut down the water, and collected your mop, towels, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could potentially come flowing out, utilize a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp 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, propane heater, or kerosene, or any product with an open flame, as this could cause a fire hazard.

If you cannot locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed plumber to come to your home and inspect your pipes.

What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?

Like we said before, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber immediately. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, towels, sponges – whatever you have – to soak 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 – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.

Don’t wait until something terrible happens to understand how to shut off your water supply. Take some time now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you valuable time during a plumbing emergency.

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