Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The winter season brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, icy temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the bitter cold, the cool season can also come with a certain 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 tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from ruptured pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the typical claim costing approximately $5000.

So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? Barlow Service Experts is here to with a few tips.

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you notice 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 sounds pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, keep in mind not all plumbing pipes are in sight. 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 may be frozen.

So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?

Warning: before you start trying to thaw your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. Once you start to thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will melt into water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and stopping water from escaping out of your pipes.

Once you’ve shut off the water, and collected your mop, rags, and anything else you could need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, find a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing towels that have been drenched 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 risk.

If you are not able to locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call an expert plumber to come out and inspect your pipes.

What If the Worst Happens – a Pipe Bursts?

Remember, first things first – power off your home’s water supply. Then, call a professional plumber immediately. As you wait on the plumber to arrive, start soaking up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and contact your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that end up with water damage.

Don’t wait until something terrible happens 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 exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.

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