How A Frozen Pipe Can Ruin Your Day (and How To Avoid It!)

Whenever the weather gets really chilly, your pipes are at risk of freezing. When pipes freeze they have the potential to split and this can cause havoc in your house. It’s not just the pipe replacement you need to think about – you’ll also have to redecorate and try to salvage anything that has been water damaged. If your pipes are in constant use then the risk is pretty low – the flowing warm water will make sure that nothing freezes over. The time when your pipes are most at risk is when you go away for extended periods. And there’s nothing like a phone call saying your house is flooded to take the shine off a holiday!

How to Prevent it

Prevention is most definitely better than cure, especially in this case! If you’re going away it’s best to do a few things to stop yourself from being at too much risk. The first thing to remember is to leave a little water trickling in the sinks. The other thing to do is to leave your heating on at the lowest setting. If you have a timer then set it to come on a couple of times a day – this will be considerably cheaper than leaving it on constantly. Another idea is to ask a neighbour to pop in on a daily basis and run the hot water and turn the heating on for a while.

Your pipes should be properly lagged too – if you are in any doubt then ask a plumber to check the level of insulation around your pipe work. They will be able to tell you if you are at a greater risk, and they can also help you improve the lagging to prevent any disasters.

If you are going away for a long period of time, it’s advisable to turn your water off altogether. Make sure that you have drained every last drop from the system as lingering water could cause problems.

If the Worst Should Happen?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your pipes may still freeze over. You’ll know if this has happened because the pipe will begin to drip once it starts thawing. Catching it early is very wise as the more water that leaks out, the more damage that will be caused. Turn your water supply off immediately and contact an emergency plumber who will come out and rescue you before things get too bad.

If the water has not been stopped in time then you will need to contact your insurance company as you may well be covered for the water damage. It’s important to wait until the walls and ceilings have dried out before you start to redecorate. Carpets may need to be replaced and hopefully this will be covered under your insurance policy. Give them a ring to find out your level of cover now – it’s better to know in advance that you will be covered in the event of a burst pipe.

Don’t let a burst pipe ruin your house – or your holiday! Taking precautions is the best way forward.

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This guest post is by Luke Watson. His day job is at ExcelPlas, providers of polymer testing, plastic pipe testing, geomembrane Testing and more. He is a technophile who is likely to spend more on gadgets than on food, clothing and rent.

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