Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The cold weather brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, frigid temperatures, and the constant need for deicer. But in addition to sickness and the nasty cold, the cool season can also usher in a certain 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 cause anything from a small leak, to a full-fledge flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com published that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most typical homeowners insurance claims, with the standard claim costing around $5000.

So what can you do in the event you think your pipes could be frozen? Rob's Albertan 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 lumps within the pipe, that it’s a pretty clear indicator 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 obvious. If you turn on the sink and the water isn’t moving, or not flowing properly, or your toilets aren’t filling back up after your flush, that’s also a sign that your pipes may be frozen.

So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?

NOTE: 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 end up all over your house if the frozen water has been acting as a plug and preventing water from escaping 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 potentially come flowing out, find a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try wrapping towels that have been soaked 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 may cause a fire hazard.

If you can’t locate or get to the frozen water pipe, call a licensed 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 an expert plumber ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to arrive, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, 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 contact your insurance agent – the majority of homeowners insurance covers burst pipes that cause water damage.

Don’t wait until something terrible happens to understand how to power off your water supply. Take a few minutes now to learn exactly 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.

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