Frozen and Burst Pipes in Winter

Frozen and Burst Pipes in Winter

Winter has finally arrived in the North – with sub zero temperatures expected overnight across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire and even as far down as the Midlands. The cold weather can provide troublesome central heating systems as burst pipes and frozen pipes become a common occurrence.

Frozen pipes and burst pipes are one of the most common call outs we get in the winter months because cold snaps can cause water in supply pipes to freeze the water in the pipes. When the water freezes it expands causing the pipes to crack, and finally leak through the crack when the ice melts.

If already have a burst pipe, it’s best to contact a local plumber sooner rather than later – we’ve got local engineers on 24 hour call outs across the North and midlands regions. If you’re just preparing for the cold weather, or looking for advice on how to deal with frozen pipes, just follow our simple steps.

frozen pipe

Prevent Frozen Pipes

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure was never more true than when it comes to your central heating system and avoiding burst pipes in winter! Prevent problems in the first place by following the simple steps below:

  • Keep your heating on low if it’s really cold. Setting your central heating on a 24 low heat is a lot less expensive than fixing a burst pipe!
  • If you’re away for a period of time, set your heating to still come on and ask a neighbour to look out for any signs of leaks.
  • Insulate water tanks and lag pipes (lagging material is available from most DIY stores).
  • Fix dripping taps, even small drips can result in a frozen pipe.
  • Know where your stopcock or valve is and make sure you know how to turn it off just in case.


Frozen Pipes

If you already have a frozen pipe, first check to see if the pipe has burst. If not, you can thaw the pipe slowly with a hot water bottle or a towel soaked in hot water. Start from the end nearest the tap and work your way back. Never use a naked flame of any kind to do this.

burst pipe

Burst Pipes

If already have a burst pipe, you’ll need a qualified plumber to fix the damage, but in the meantime to prevent further damage, you can:

  • Locate and turn off the main stopcock to your water supply.
  • If the burst is on a storage tank pipe, turn off the stop valve to the storage tank and follow this by turning on all the hot taps to drain the system.
  • If you can’t stop the flow of water, open all the cold taps to drain the system.
  • Finally, always call a qualified plumber to fix the burst pipe properly.

If a pipe has frozen or burst outside your property boundary, your water supplier will help – find yours. For any further questions or problems with your plumbing, you can contact Forever Warm on 0800 999 4770.

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