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Frozen or burst pipes

30 January 2019
Frozen pipes

The colder months can mean that the water pipes in your home are at greater risk of freezing and bursting. 

It’s always worth knowing where your stop tap is located in case of an emergency. Most stopcocks are fitted under the kitchen sink and close by turning clockwise. However, in a bungalow, it may be in the bathroom. Make sure you can turn all taps and valves freely.

What can I do to stop pipes freezing?

Pipes and tanks in your roof space should be covered in insulation or ‘lagging’ to help prevent the pipes from freezing. Many modern boiler systems switch the heating on if the temperature drops too low.

You can also stop pipes freezing by:

  • Setting the heating to turn on a couple of times a day if the weather is very cold, especially if you are going away

What should I do if my pipes are frozen?

  • Turn off the water at the main stop tap
  • If the hot-water system is also frozen, turn off the water heater.

If you are certain there are no cracks or splits in the pipe, you can try gently heating any frozen sections with a hairdryer or a heated cloth wrapped around the pipe. You should never apply a direct flame.

What should I do if pipes burst?

  • Turn off the water at the stop tap and switch off any water heaters.
  • Turn on all your cold taps only to drain the water already in the system; this will take about 15 minutes. The taps then need to be turned off once the water stops running.
  • Contact us to report the problem on 0800 916 1525 or 0300 123 3561(from a mobile).

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