When the cold weather sets in and the winter’s in its height, there’s always the possibility of your pipes freezing. If this occurs you’ll need to call out a plumber to get them back in working order, otherwise you’ll be left with water not coming into or leaving your home.
Fortunately there are a few little tricks you can do to keep your pipes from freezing or bursting over the winter months. These will help you save money and stop any problems over the cold season.
So what pipes are at risk of freezing? Essentially it’s the pipes that are found on an outside wall and also located in cupboards. This is because heat never reaches them.
First of all, it’s worth letting pipes inside cupboards air every now and then. Open the doors and allow heat to get at the pipes, keeping them slightly warmer than they would normally be.
If you go on holiday over the winter period then also consider keeping your heating on at a low temperature or have it set to turn on sporadically. Some boilers also have a frost protection thermostat which is activated when the temperature falls below a certain point.
Insulation is another effective way to combat frozen pipes and all you need to do is wrap the insulation around the pipework where necessary. It often comes as a foam insulation and don’t forget the water tank either.
So what about if your pipes have frozen? Sometimes you won’t need to bring in a professional and there are a few techniques you can try to thaw out the pipes. Before we tell you though, ensure to NEVER use a naked flame against the pipe. Also make sure to turn off the stopcock the moment you discover frozen pipework.
What can you use? A hairdryer, heat lamp or even a portable heater are good options that could well thaw the pipes. Electrical heat tape is another possible method but this can be tricky and you need to be careful when dealing with water and electricity. Essentially, if it comes to this, your best bet is hiring a Gas Safe plumber to come out and sort the issue for you.