22 November 2011

Frozen pipes disrupt lives


Simple ways to protect your water pipes in winter

Winter is nearly upon us, which means long nights, sub-zero temperatures and the risk of frozen pipes.

While the thought of frozen pipes may not seem like a big deal, many people forget that when their pipes freeze they risk a lot more than just having no water for bathing, laundry or cooking. They risk a burst pipe which could mean damage to their personal property and potentially expensive repair work.

Fortunately, it’s easy to reduce your risk of this happening. All you have to do is follow these simple steps and together we can help make sure that your water keeps flowing all winter long.

Avoiding frozen pipes

Insulate water tanks and pipes in unheated areas like lofts, roof spaces, garages and outbuildings

Fix dripping taps- a small trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe

Find your internal stop tap/valve. It’s usually under the sink

Keep your boiler well serviced to keep your house heated

Make sure doors and windows from unheated parts of your property are kept closed and minimise any draughts from outside

Allow some warm air to circulate into the roof space by opening the trap door

Leave the heating on low when you are away. Leave a key with a neighbour, friend or family member who can check the house regularly

Write down the contact details of SNIPEF registered plumbers in your area

Dealing with frozen pipes

Turn off the water supply at the stop tap/valve

Thaw along the pipe, starting from the end nearest the tap

Don’t use a blow lamp or naked flame

Put hot water bottles or a thick cloth soaked in hot water over the frozen pipe or use a hair dryer at its lowest setting to thaw pipes. Be careful not to warm them too quickly or they may burst

Don’t leave taps dripping or running. The water may not flush down the plug hole if the pipes below are frozen

If a pipe does burst

Turn off the stop tap/valve

Try to block escaping water with thick cloth like towels

Open all taps to reduce flooding

Call a plumber

Don’t forget to turn off taps once the problem is fixed to avoid further flooding

For more information about protecting your pipes from freezing this winter, look for your leaflet in the post, or call Waterline on 08457 440088.

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