Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The winter season brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the excessive need for deicer. But along with sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season can also come with a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.

When the temperatures drop down below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and swell, it can create anything from a minimal 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 average claim costing approximately $5000.

So what can you do in case you think your pipes could be frozen? Service Experts Commercial HVAC is here to with a couple tips.

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you see a water pipe coated 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, remember not all plumbing pipes are in sight. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t flowing, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t refilling after your flush, that’s also a sign 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. When you begin to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will become water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from leaking out of your pipes.

Once you’ve shut off the water, and gathered up a mop, towels, and anything else you may 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 placing towels that have been saturated in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a propane heater, kerosene, or blowtorch, or anything else with an open flame, as this might cause a fire risk.

If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.

What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?

As we said, first things first – shut off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber right away. While you are waiting on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as you can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.

Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to understand how to power off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn just 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.

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