How to deal with (and prevent) frozen pipes this winter

As the temperature falls outside and everyone is running around buying last minute gifts, the last thing anyone needs at this time of year is frozen or burst pipes. Frozen pipes can stop your heating working, and worse, frozen pipes can burst. As the water running through the pipes cools due to very low temperatures, it can start to turn to ice. Ice of course expands, so causing the pipe itself to fracture and burst. Here we look at how to prevent your pipes from freezing, and what to do in the event that they do burst.

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The best thing to do is insulate your pipes. You can get pipe lagging material from your local DIY store. Insulate your pipes with it, being careful to not miss any bends, fittings or valves. Keep the temperature in your home steady, and if you go away for the holidays this year, be sure to leave the heating on low. Set the thermostat to at least five degrees.

You should have a check of your home insurance too. Be sure to comply with the directives of your policy. Should the worse happen whilst you are away, you need to make sure that you are covered by your insurance.

What to do if your pipes freeze

Gently warm up the pipes to get the water inside flowing again. Gentle is the key word. If you heat up the pipes too quickly they might crack. Use a hairdryer on its lowest, coolest setting. Or you could wrap a tea towel that has been soaked in hand hot water around the pipe.

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If the pipes do burst, locate the stopcock and turn off the water. Next you need to call the experts. If you do need emergency plumbers Dublin has many excellent services like www.plumberservicesdublin that can help you.

Open all of the taps in your home to reduce any flooding, and soak up any water that is leaking from the burst pipe as best you can with towels.

Whilst a cold and white Christmas is the stuff of children’s dreams, it can be problematic for pipe work. If you look after and monitor your pipes, and know what to do in an emergency, you will be able to relax and enjoy the winter.