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, visitniwater.com or call Waterline on 08457 440088.