How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

With winter well and truly setting in, have you started to feel the chill yet? With the weather getting colder and December fast approaching, now is a good time to think about your pipes and how you can protect them from freezing or even bursting during the winters. As plumbers we have compiled together a few things that you can do to prevent your pipes freezing this winter.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Take Care Of Your Outside Pipes

Outside pipes can regularly freeze in the cold weather, if you can isolate the water supply to the outside tap with an internal shut off valve, then this will help to prevent problems from occurring.

Use Insulated Foam Sleeving

Pipes in lofts, basements or outside are the most likely pipes to freeze as these areas aren’t heated. They also tend to lack insulation, but you can change this by insulating them with foam based sleeves. The thinner the pipe is, the thicker the insulation will need to be, as thinner pipes are more likely to freeze than thicker ones. It’s important to make sure that there are no gaps at valves or bends.

Don’t Insulate Underneath Your Tank

This is important if your tank is in the loft. Your loft will be even colder if its floor is insulated, as this will be blocking the heat that normally rises from the room below. If you can avoid it, don’t insulate the underneath of your tank – but do insulate the top and sides to prevent the heat from escaping.

Fix Dripping Taps

If a dripping tap freezes over, the water in the pipe can also freeze, which creates a blockage. Make sure to replace washers on taps regularly to avoid them from dripping; a plumber should be able to carry this out for you.

Get Your Boiler Services

If you haven’t already serviced your boiler ready for winter, there’s no time like the present. Having your boiler looked at by a professional plumber is the best way to protect it against breakdowns.

Leave Your Heating On

If you’re lucky enough to be escaping to somewhere a little warmer this winter and leaving your house to fend for itself, consider leaving the heating on at a low temperature. While turning it off completely will save you money, you could end up regretting it if a pipe bursts and causes expensive damage to your home. While you’re away, leaving your loft hatch open is also a good idea as it allows heat to circulate around your tank and pipes. If your home is going to be unoccupied for a long time, consider turning off the water at the stopcock and draining down the system so there is no water left in the pipes. You may also want to ask a friend to check the house regularly.

Find Your Stopcock

The most important thing to know this winter is where your stopcock is, so if the worst does happen then at least you can turn your water off.