Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

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

When the weather turns and the temperature dips below freezing and the water in your pipes freeze and enlarge, it can result in anything from a tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from burst pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing approximately $5000.

So what can you do if you think your pipes may be frozen? Gordon's Service Experts is here to with some tips.

How to Identify a Frozen Water Pipe

If you see a water pipe covered in frost or any bulges within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear sign that your water pipe is frozen. While it seems pretty straightforward to know if your water lines are frozen, remember not all plumbing pipes are obvious. 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 may be frozen.

So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?

First things first: before you start working to thaw your pipes, turn off your home’s water supply. As you thaw the frozen pipe, that ice will turn into water and that water could spill out all over your home if the frozen water has been functioning as a plug and prohibiting water from spilling out of your pipes.

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

If you can’t 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. While you wait on the plumber to come, start soaking up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to sop up as much water as possible before it causes damage. If the damage is serious, go ahead and reach out to your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.

Don’t wait until a pipe bursts to find out how to shut off your water supply. Take a couple minutes now to learn right where your water supply valve is located and how to appropriately shut off the water to your home. A little practice now will save you crucial time during a plumbing emergency.

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