Fixing Frozen Pipes Before They Burst

February 02, 2017

The cold weather brings enough misery, with cold and flu season, freezing temperatures, and the excessive 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 tiny leak, to a complete flooding of your home. HouseLogic.com reported that water damage from broken pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim costing about $5000.

So what can you do if 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 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 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 an indicator that your pipes could be frozen.

So How Do You Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe?

NOTE: before you start the process of thawing your pipes, shut down your home’s water supply. As you 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 working as a plug and stopping 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 may come flowing out, use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen water pipe. You can also try placing 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 could cause a fire hazard.

If you are not able to 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 – turn off your home’s water supply. Then, call an expert plumber ASAP. While you wait on the plumber to come, start mopping up the water with a mop, cloths, sponges – whatever you have – to clean up as much water as you possibly can before it causes damage. If the damage is severe, go ahead and give your insurance agent a call – most 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 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 precious time during a plumbing emergency.

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