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Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

December 14, 2017

The winter season brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the consistent need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the nasty cold, winter can also usher in a specific plumbing program – frozen pipes.

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

So what can you do in the event you think your pipes might be frozen? Hammond Home Services by Enercare is here to with some tips.

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you notice a water pipe covered in frost or any lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty sure 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 in sight. If you turn on the shower and the water isn’t coming out, 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, shut off your home’s water supply. Once you start to 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 functioning as a plug and prohibiting water from leaking out of your pipes.

Once you’ve turned off the water, and gathered up a mop, sponges, and anything else you may need to clean up the water that could possibly come flowing out, utilize a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer 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 other item with an open flame, as this may cause a fire danger.

If you cannot 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?

Remember, first things first – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call a licensed plumber ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to get there, start cleaning 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 – most homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that result in water damage.

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