Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The cold weather brings enough torment, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the awful cold, it can also bring a certain plumbing program – frozen pipes.

When the freezing temperatures arrive and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can create anything from a tiny leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com said that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most usual homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.

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

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you catch a water line coated in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty easy to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are visible. If you turn on the faucet and the water isn’t coming out, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes might 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. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could leak all over your home if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and preventing water from escaping out of your pipes.

Once you’ve turned off the water, and collected your mop, sponges, and anything else you might need to clean up the water that could potentially 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 submerged in hot water around your water pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene, or any other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire risk.

If you are not able to locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a professional 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 – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. As you wait on the plumber to get there, start soaking up the water with a mop, rags, sponges – whatever you have – to soak up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is critical, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – a large number of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.

Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to understand how to turn off your water supply. Take some time now to learn just where your water supply valve is located and exactly how to shut off the water to your home. A little preparation now will save you precious time during a plumbing emergency.

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