Previously we explained the best steps to take in order to prepare your pipes for winter. In this second part we give you further tips on how to prevent frozen pipes and what to do when faced with them.
The first and best step to take to prevent freezing pipes is keeping your heating on as well as running the cold taps regularly and draining your outside tap where possible. You do this by switching the inside tap off and running the outside tap until drained, though it should be noted that this applies to new builds only and where the tap has been put in properly by a skilled plumber.
This is particularly important for anyone involved in vacant properties, whether second homes, sales or lettings. Keep the heating on or make sure the system and all of its components have been fully drained by a plumbing professional – or it will freeze.
Another form of prevention is to have a technician arrive at your property to insulate all your open pipework that would be vulnerable to freezing. These include all pipework that is located under your floors, in the basement, behind the bath, toilets, sinks and especially on the incoming water mains pipework. This will certainly help reduced the risk of your pipework from being exposed to the falling temperatures.
What should I do if my pipes become frozen?
- The first step is to switch the stop-cock off straight away.
- Then, if at all possible, just let nature take its course – wait for things to warm up: switch off and wait.
- At this stage it’s best to get Drain Doctor in to trace all the pipework for splits. Otherwise, when the weather warms and pipes thaw, you might get a leak.
Should I try to thaw any frozen pipes? Are there any dangers?
There are dangers with DIY thawing and we would advise against it. We have seen examples of people setting fire to materials with blow torches when they have been trying to thaw pipes. This does not end well! Also, bear in mind that when you thaw the pipe, you unblock whatever pressure there is in the pipe. Remember to be particularly careful with copper pipes, as they can easily burst due to the expansion of the water inside the pipe.
To recap, when faced with frozen pipes:
- 1. PREVENTION is key – Get Drain Doctor Glasgow to insulate vulnerable pipework areas.
- 2. Isolate the water supply to the property.
- 3. Try to refrain from DIY thawing.