• Winter Advice – How to Avoid Burst & Frozen Pipes
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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.

Regular Inspection

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.

Proper Lagging

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.

10 Winter Tips to Prevent Boiler Breakdowns

10 Winter Tips to Prevent Boiler Breakdowns

There is nothing more important than a properly functioning Gas Heating Boiler during the winters and with predictions of a long winter this year, it makes logical sense for us to bring you a little boiler wisdom to see you through. Continue reading and find out how to prevent a boiler breakdown due to extreme low temperatures.


Always keep an eye on your heating

Always monitor the heating level of your boiler and remember that it is a bad idea to keep the heating on zero during a cold spell as it can damage the heating system by forcing it to work harder. You can save on the cost of repairs by preventing the boiler from freezing up and keeping it in a workable condition.


Read boiler Instructions

You might think it is boring but trust us it will prevent a boiler breakdown. Nearly all boilers come with manuals and to keep your boiler in shape always read the manual.


Make sure the Boiler is on

If your boiler is not working the first thing you need to check is if it is actually switched on. Then see if the electricity or gas supply has stopped. If the fuel supply is running then you need to observe the boiler’s pilot. If the pilot is out, reset the boiler manually. You can do it easily and don’t have call an engineer for it.


Check the Boiler Pressure

A drop in pressure can sometimes make combi boilers to stop functioning. When the boiler stops working always check the pressure dial, radiators and pipes for any leaks. You can increase the pressure manually if you can’t find a leak in your heating system. Always remember to switch off the boiler before adjusting the pressure. However, be careful as too much pressure can be dangerous.

Bleed the Radiators

You can feel cold patches on the radiator if air gets trapped and blocks the system. In such a situation you are required to bleed the radiator. However, if you can still feel the cold patches, the system might be clogged with sludge and would require a chemical flush by gas safe registered engineers.


Insulate the Condensate Pipe

In condensing boilers the condensate pipes can get blocked after freezing in very low temperatures. To prevent this you would be required to insulate the pipes.

If you have this problem repeatedly it is advised that you consider relocating the pipe internally or replace it with a wider pipe.

Thaw the Condensate Pipe

If unfortunately you have failed to prevent your condensate pipe from freezing then you would need to thaw it out. The best method to thaw is by placing a hot water bottle on the pipe. You can also pour hot water over the frozen pipe. Giving it a blow with a hair dryer or wrapping towel soaked in hot water can also work. You need to then reset the boiler.

Old Boiler means more Boiler care

Most boilers in England are 10 to 12 years old with depleted efficiency. If you also have an old boiler it is worth thinking about planning your finances for boiler care. The average cost of a boiler breakdown is estimated to be £235.37 and could go higher if it has more problems. To avoid this it is better to spend a decent amount on boiler care.


Get the Boiler Serviced before it’s too late

Regular boiler serving helps prolong its life and avoid untimely breakdowns.  Older boilers are more fragile which is why in order to keep them running you should have them serviced before the winter onslaught. Even the boiler manufacturers advise yearly boiler servicing.

Even when your boiler is functioning properly do not hesitate to get it serviced at the end of the winter season.

Call boiler experts before the boiler breakdown

Call Domestic & General Heating or fill the form on our website and our experts will get in touch with you at the earliest. Our surveyor can also conduct a free survey of your property to give you a no-obligation quote for the installation of a central heating system.