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By Eloise Evans on 13/10/2016
What’s the worst thing that can happen in the winter? Having no hot water or heating! For many, a nice hot bath or shower is the salvation of the cold, wet and windy days of the winter months. Being able to come in from the freezing rain and warm yourself up with nice long shower, to then get into some warm comfy clothes and curl up on the sofa with the heating on. Now imagine you come in wet, cold and bedraggled from the icy wind and when you get in the shower nothing comes out, and then you realise the radiators aren’t turning on either. You check the boiler and it looks fine, but then you find a frozen and burst pipe somewhere in the house. You’ll have no water or heating until you get the issue fixed, and who knows how long that’ll be.
Don’t let this be you this winter! Make sure you are prepared and get your pipes ready for the cold weather. Frozen and burst pipes are quite common at times when the temperature really plummets and you need to know how to prevent this from happening. Following the tips below, your pipes should stay thawed throughout the winter.
Find Your Water Shut-Off Valve
First things first, know where your water shut-off valve is. In the case of a burst pipe, you need to know how to shut off your water supply and quickly. If you aren’t already aware of where this valve is, your house could suffer quite a lot of damage if it takes you a while to find it. The quicker you cut the water supply, the less damage to your home and the loss money you need to pay to repair it all.
Insulate Your Pipes
Pipe insulation is easy to get hold of as it is sold at most DIY stores, and it is quite a simple task to apply it to your pipes. You can cut it down to size and attach it to any pipes you can find, hopefully preventing these pipes from freezing in the winter. The insulation simply works as a way to stop the water from getting too cold, not letting the cold air in and not letting warm air out.
If you cannot get hold of any pipe insulation, you can also simply wrap your pipes in newspaper and fix it with cable ties and it should work in a similar way. Do this with all the pipes you can. Any hidden pipes inside your walls will still be vulnerable, but as long as you protect the ones you can do at least you are helping to prevent the problem.
Disconnect Any Hosepipes
Although your hosepipe is outside and doesn’t really affect your indoor plumbing, it is still something worth protecting as it will only be one more thing to pay for when spring comes around. Makes sure you disconnect the hose and drain it of any water. Once you have done this, store it in a sheltered place over the winter such as the garage or shed to keep it away from the bad weather.
Open Cupboard Doors beneath Sinks
When the cold weather does hit, it normally hits hard. If you know it’s going to be a cold night, open up the cupboard doors beneath the sinks to let the warm air from the house circulate around the pipes. This little bit of warmer air being able to get to the pipes should stop them from freezing. Your cat might knock over a few cleaning products but at least your pipes will still work in the morning.
Let Taps Trickle
If you know it’s going to be a cold night and you really are worried about your pipes freezing, let the taps trickle throughout the night to keep the water flowing. It might not be great for your water bill, but it’ll prevent you getting a big unexpected bill if you need to have repairs done after your pipes burst and water leaks all over your floor. Letting the water move through the pipes will stop them from having the chance to freeze in one place.
Keep the House Warm
This doesn’t mean keeping your heating on constantly, it just means not letting your house get to a temperature below a certain point. Setting your thermostat to about 13 degrees so your house doesn’t get too cold. If the temperature drops whilst you’re asleep you could wake up to frozen pipes, so don’t let it get that cold!
If you follow these tips, you should be able to fend off frozen and burst pipes for the colder months. However, sometimes unexpected things do happen and if anything happens during the winter, and you need help from the plumbing experts, or you simply need some extra advice on getting your pipes winter ready, give your local Drain Doctor a call!
Photo Source: Freepik