How To Identify and Prevent Frozen Pipes

The winter months are here and with them they bring freezing temperatures, this is why it is important for you to be aware of the signs of frozen pipes and how to avoid them. Steps need to be taken in order to protect your pipes in order to minimise the rick of burst pipes and flooding.

How To Identify Frozen Pipes

There are three tell tail signs that you may have frozen pipes:

  • No running water or just a trickle – If this is the case then it is often a pipe connecting to the tap that is frozen.
  • Pipe Covered In Frost – If there is visible frost on the pipes then it is highly likely that it is frozen, unfortunately some pipes are well out of sight so it will be hard for you to check for frost.
  • Smells – Frozen pipes can cause blockages so if there are unpleasant smells coming from taps or drains then chances are you have a frozen pipe.

How To Fix Frozen Pipes

If you have a frozen pipe and it has not burst yet, then it is important to act quickly. You could call an emergency plumber to come and thaw your pipes, however there are steps you can take yourself.

Firstly, you need to make sure you turn of the water supply to your property using the stopcock. Then using either hot water bottles or towels that have been soaked in hot water you can start to thaw the pipes, it is recommended that you start at the end of the pipes closest to the taps and work outwards from there.

Never uses a naked flame or blow torch to try and thaw your pipes, if your looking for an alterative to towels and hot water bottles then a hair dryer can be used.

If your pipes have already burst due to freezing, then you should call and emergency plumber out straight away and turn off the stopcock to limit flooding and water damage. Any water that has already leaked out should be cleaned up as best as you can using thick towels or anything else you have lying around that will soak up the water.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Prevention is always better than the cure so when the cold weather arrives it is important to take a few precautionary steps to reduce the risk of your pipes freezing this year:

  • Repair Drips – the smallest drip can lead to a frozen pipe so it is important to make sure that the necessary repairs are made to fix any drips you may have.
  • Use Insulation – Lag pipes and water tanks should be properly insulated; this can be done by yourself by purchasing lagging from your local DIY shop or you can call out a plumber to do it for you.
  • Check Your Boiler – Boiler faults are a key player in frozen pipes, so make sure you have it regular serviced so any faults can be detected and rectified.
  • Empty Property – If your property is going to be empty for any period of time over the winter months then it is a good idea to turn the water off by the stopcock and even drain the system this will mean there is no water in the pipes to freeze while you are away.

If you have a frozen pipe or need help taking steps to ensure your pipes don’t freeze this winter, then contact Hedgehog Heating today.

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