How To: Deal With Frozen Pipes
One of winter’s most annoying plumbing problems is, without a doubt, frozen pipes. And with Storm Barbara on its way ahead of Christmas, we thought we would give you some useful advice on how to handle this problem.
Pipes that are the most likely to freeze are those outside and water supply pipes in unheated spaces such as lofts and garages. Pipes which run along exterior walls are also subject to freezing.
To prevent pipes from freezing you can take the following steps:
- Drain water from external pipes. Do not use anti freeze in these pipes unless instructed as anti freeze is harmful to animals.
- Insulate both hot and cold water pipes in unheated areas around the home e.g. the garage or loft.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in there.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.Be sure to move any harmful chemicals out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is extremely cold, leave the tap open enough to drip. A little water flowing through the pipe, even a drip, helps to prevent pipez from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set at a constant temperature during the day and night. Allowing pipes to go cold over night can allow them to freeze.
- If you go away , leave the heat on low in your home, no lower than 13°c.
To prevent pipes from freezing:
- If you turn on the tap and only a trickle comes out, the pipe may be frozen. Leave the tap open as any running water may help the ice to defrost.
- Apply heat to the area using items such as a heat pad, electric hairdryer or portable heater. You can also use towels soaked in hot water. Do not use anything flammable such as kerosene, a blowtorch, a propane heater or any open flame devices.
- Apply heat (safely) until full water pressure is resolved. If you cannot restore full pressure then call a licensed plumber.
- Check all taps in your home to ensure there are no more frozen pipes.