How to Prevent Frozen and Burst Pipes

 

Frozen or burst pipes?

Waking up to a freezing home on a winter’s morning is the last thing you want! Your pipes have frozen over the night. Although winter in the UK is not as severe as in other parts of the world, the danger of frozen pipes is very real.

In fact, countries with milder winters are more likely to experience burst pipes when the temperatures suddenly drop. This is because cold snaps come unexpectedly, and pipes are often not insulated or are even placed outside.

In some cases, you’ll need plumbing repair services, but these steps will help you prevent frozen and burst pipes in the winter and beyond.

Instead of walking on thin ice, make sure to prepare your plumbing system for the cold. Follow these simple steps to avoid a battle with Jack Frost:

Insulate exposed water pipes and water tanks

Ensure any gaps are sealed, including the holes where pipes run through walls or floors. If you can feel cold air coming in, it’s time to get working.

Let the cold water drip from the faucet if it’s served by an exposed pipe

When it’s freezing outside, a small trickle can help release the pressure in your pipes. After all, burst pipes are a result of the cold water inside them expanding, which increases pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high, the pipe cracks. And fixing a burst pipe is a lot more expensive than letting the faucet drip.

Make sure your boiler is serviced regularly

If your boiler can push heat through the pipes, they will be a lot less likely to fall victims to the cold. A gas boiler service is best done in the summer, so you can have it ready and steady when the frost strikes. For added peace of mind, check our Care Club Homeowner plans.

Know where your internal stopcock is

In case you didn’t know, a stopcock is the control tap for the water in your property. You might need to turn it off if a pipe bursts. Most stopcocks are fitted under the kitchen sink and close by turning clockwise. If you can’t locate your stopcock, consider asking a neighbour as they may be able to show you if they have a similar property to you.

If you’re going on holiday, make sure you leave the heating on low

This will keep the heat circulating through the pipes and prevent them from freezing. Ask a neighbour or a friend to regularly check on the property as well. If your pipes end up freezing, the sooner you act, the better.

If the cold still catches you off-guard and you end up with burst or frozen pipes, here are our top tips:

1. Check if the pipe has burst before you apply any heat.
2. If the pipe is not damaged, you can attempt to warm it up. Wrap the pipe in a towel soaked in hot water, starting from the end nearest to the tap. Pour hot but NOT BOILING water over the frozen area.
3. Call an emergency plumbing service as soon as possible. The best way to ensure no further damage is to have an experienced professional handle the issue.

DO NOT in any case:

• Apply heat directly, as this can cause permanent damage to the pipes or even lead to a fire.
• Try to strike the pipes. You risk not only breaking the ice but the pipe as well.

Most importantly – if you encounter a burst pipe, call our emergency plumbing service immediately. This is also important if you have a burst pipe. Keep a watchful eye on your pipe until the plumber arrives.

For more Rightio news, live updates and handy tips follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We also offer boiler repairs, services to fix leaky boilers, and everything else you might need to keep your boiler in tip-top condition.

How to protect your pipes from Freezing and Bursting

  1. Insulate exposed water pipes and water tanks.

    Ensure any gaps are sealed, including the holes where pipes run through walls or floors. If you can feel cold air coming in, it’s time to get working.

  2. Let the cold water drip from the faucet, if it’s served by an exposed pipe.

    When it’s freezing outside, a small trickle can help release the pressure in your pipes. After all pipes burst, because the cold water inside them expands, which increases pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high the pipe cracks. And fixing a burst pipe is a lot more expensive than letting the faucet drip.

  3. Make sure your boiler is serviced regularly.

    If your boiler can push heat through the pipes, they will be a lot less likely to fall victims to the cold. Boiler servicing is best done in the summer, so you can have it ready and steady when the frost strikes. For added peace of mind, check our Care Club Homeowner plans.

  4. Know where your internal stopcock is.

    This will keep the heat circulating through the pipes and prevent them from freezing. Ask a neighbor or a friend to regularly check on the property as well. If your pipes end up freezing, the sooner you act, the better.

  5. If you’re going on holiday, make sure you leave the heating on low.

    This will keep the heat circulating through the pipes and prevent them from freezing. Ask a neighbor or a friend to regularly check on the property as well. If your pipes end up freezing, the sooner you act, the better.

keep your pipes from freezing and bursting
icicles hanging from gutter
frozen pipe problems caused by heavy snow