PREVENT FROZEN PIPES
Winter can bring sub zero temperatures and the possibility that water in your pipes might freeze. There are ways of preventing this from happening. Here’s our advice.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
When the temperature drops, it’s only human nature to turn the heating up and run a hot bath. While this means a toasty home and warm toes, it can also spells trouble if the temperature drops below freezing point. Frozen pipes happen when water left in the pipework freezes solid and expands to the point where it cracks the pipe. When the ice thaws and water flows through the pipe again, a leak - or worse - a flood can occur. Even the tiniest leak can cause thousands of pounds of damage, especially if the damaged pipe is under the floorboards and goes undetected.
The good news is there are some simple steps you can take as a tenant to ensure your pipes don’t freeze. This includes advice on how to thaw pipes should they seize in sub zero temperatures. Try the following:-
- Keep your heating on low constantly during winter
- Run cold taps regularly and fix any drips
- Check whether pipework in the loft, any cellar, in garages and on exterior walls is insulated with foam, sold at most DIY stores
- Insulate the water tank
- Consider leaving the loft hatch open to let warm air rise into the space
- Disconnect garden hoses and wrap the outside tap in foam
- If you have a water metre, keep an eye on the reading. If you’re suddenly using more water, it might be a sign of a leak
- If you suspect the pipes have frozen, turn the stopcock off immediately. Don’t use a direct heat source to thaw the pipe. Instead, let nature take its course, or use hot towels or a hot water bottle to start the thaw process
- If there is a flood, turn off the stop cock, open all the taps and call a plumber