How to prevent frozen pipes
Frozen pipes can be a big problem for homeowners. It’s not a very common issue in the UK where we normally have mild winters, but with an icy blast on the way, it’s useful to know what to do in the event of your water pipes freezing. The Bristol Water website states “Every winter, we receive calls from customers about their water pipes freezing, bursting or leaking.” While Bristol Water can offer advice they hold no responsibility for fixing leaks at a private property. They do recommend wrapping your pipes with a good quality lagging which can be obtained from a local hardware store though.
A ruptured pipe caused by frost can be very costly to fix. It’s also likely that if the weather is bad enough to break a pipe, then it will be difficult to find a local plumber who can make a speedy call out.
Prevention is the best cure for this problem and you should always make sure you get any leaks fixed as soon as they happen before any cold weather hits. Something as simple as leaving a plug in a sink (a tip to help prevent frozen pipes) could avert a major disaster later!
Preventing freezing pipes may also require the use of more heating energy, at a time when energy prices are on the rise. That said, it’s worth it for the reasons listed above. When water freezes it expands which is what spells trouble for the pipes. Unheated underground areas such as basements are particularly prone to freezing. Keeping your house toasty with the heating on regularly and evenly is ideal, while excluding drafts and insulating as much as possible is the key to fighting ice.
Boiler maintenance during freezing weather
When temperatures drop, boiler condensate pipes can freeze and cause damage to boilers if the condensate is not insulated or fitted correctly. As you should be getting your boiler serviced annually anyway – it’s a good idea to have it checked before a cold snap arrives.
In case of an emergency it’s always a good idea to know where your stopcock is so that you can turn off the water supply before the issue escalates. If you have any problems with your pipes don’t attempt to fix them yourself but call a trained plumber to help. MP Plumbing offers gas safe Bristol plumbers across the city.