How to Avoid Frozen Pipes11 Dec 2017
When the temperature drops, like it has just done here, we start to receive calls from tenants about frozen pipes. Well, actually often they call to say that they suddenly don’t have any water, but that normally means that they have frozen pipes!
So what can tenants do to avoid getting frozen pipes?
Tip number 1 – Keep the Heating On
It’s vital that you keep the temperature in the property at a reasonable level – so keep the heating on – even if you are leaving and are not going to be at the property. The heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and potentially to your possessions – so keep the heat on! If you are away from the property, maintaining a temperature of around 12-14 degrees should be sufficient.
Tip number 2 – Allow the taps to drip a little
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can allow the taps to drip slightly. Allowing the taps be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the tap that will cause the pipe to burst. So if you let is drip it relieves the pressure.. Obviously make sure the plug is out!!
Tip 3 – Allow heat to circulate round the house
Pipes are often located in cupboards so make sure that the heat in the house is able to circulate throughout.
Tip 4 – Add Extra Insulation
Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. If you have had or are really worried about freezing pipes contact your maintenance manager to discuss extra insulation.
So what can you do if you do have frozen pipes despite your best efforts?
- Turn off the water supply at the stopcock.
- Check to see if the pipe has burst.
- Slowly allow the pipe to thaw on its own then turn water back on and check if you have water coming through
Unfortunately there is nothing that anyone can do when a pipe is frozen other than wait for the temperature to return to usual levels. Plumbers are not able to assist in these situations – please do report it to the office and we may be able to provide temporary heaters however we can’t offer any solution to the water, or lack of it!