Winter Advice – How to Avoid Burst & Frozen Pipes
Over the past three winters, England suffered a prolonged season with thousands of holiday homes affected, leading to burst and frozen pipes throughout the country. This is one of the biggest problems in the UK that causes residents to spend a bulk of their earning on repairs.
Here are some useful tips to avoid burst & frozen pipes in the big freeze.
It wouldn’t cost you anything to regularly inspect all your house pipes. Especially, during the winters make it a habit of inspecting the pipes once a week. By doing this you will be able to identify any small leaks before a major crack in the pipes.
Heating System Maintenance
It is imperative to maintain the heating system in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturers.
Leave your heating on in sub-zero temperatures
By leaving your heating on in sub-zero temperature you will be able to maintain the temperature of the water pipes constantly and prevent them from getting cold enough to freeze.
Use Large Condensate Pipes
If you are using a condensing boiler with condensate pipes outside then ensure that these are installed in accordance with the guidelines of the manufacturer as the pipes can easily freeze if not large enough in diameter, causing the boilers to stop functioning. A breakdown of this magnitude will cost a lot to fix.
Things to do Before Leaving Your Holiday Home for a Long Period
Before you leave, drain down the whole water system and turn off the main water supply to your house.
It is recommended that when leaving your holiday home for a long period of time; keep the heating on at a constant low level. By this way the water in the pipes will have a constant temperature, preventing it from getting cold enough to actually freeze.
Ask a friend or a neighbour to keep inspecting your home while you are away. If a problem is spotted early on it can prevent major damage.
The lack of lagging is considered one of the major factors behind the freezing of pipes, so keep in mind that pipes and tanks in the loft need to be properly lagged.
Lay Insulation on Top of Pipes in the Loft
It is recommended to lay insulation on top of pipes instead of underneath them, due to the fact that any insulation below the pipes will prevent heat from reaching them.
Insulate Water Tanks
The insulation on top of your water tanks is also another useful method to prevent your pipes from freezing during the winters.
Locate the Stop Cock
Before the onslaught of the winter season it is highly recommended that you locate the main stop cock and see if you can turn it on and off. Mostly it can be located underneath your kitchen sink. An access point of a stop cock also exists outside the house near the driveway, so you can also turn off the supply of water from there.
Check the Taps
Always insulate taps outside the house such as in your garden and also repair any leaking taps. You can also turn off the main supply of water to all the taps in your house to prevent the pipes from freezing.
It is quite easy to prevent pipes from bursting if you pay attention. It has been observed that most pipes in the UK burst due to negligence on part of the house owners. Whenever, you plan to leave your home for an extended period of time always turn off the main water supply to your home and drain the pipes. Once the pipes are properly drained, you can then leave the home without worrying. Inspecting your pipes is not a long process and requires minimal time and should not be ignored.