How to Prevent Burst Water Pipes
A burst water pipe is so much more than a disturbance in your property. A burst pipe not only enables water leakage to cause damage to your property, it can be difficult to locate the source of the problem – particularly if you have hidden pipes or underfloor heating.
Caused by water expanding as it freezes, burst pipes can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage and fixing a burst pipe is only part of the clean-up operation. As well as hiring a plumber to repair your water pipes, any areas of flooding will need to be assessed by a professional to ensure that no structural damage has been caused. It’s an expensive and lengthy process, made more difficult if you do not have appropriate insurance to cover the costs.
If you can make your water pipes as secure as possible within your property, you are far less likely to have to deal with the inconvenience and destruction of a burst water pipe. Prevention is better than cure. Here are some of our most effective do-it-yourself tips to help you stop the curse of the burst pipe!
Minimise draughts and insulate your tanks and pipes
The beauty of this tip is that it’ll help you save money on your heating bills too. Make sure you block all the cracks in windowsills and around doors to keep the cold out, and think about investing in extra draught-excluding measures like hanging heavy curtains in front of your front and back doors, or investing in a storm door.
Insulating your water tanks and pipes will also help to keep out the cold, and inexpensive insulation foam and water tank “jackets” can be found online or in good DIY shops. By doing so, you’ll keep the temperature in your property at a steady level and reduce the chances of pipes becoming frozen.
Ready to get started? Take a look at this helpful video on how to install an insulated water tank jacket.
Find your stopcock
If you’re going away during the winter months, the best way to make sure you don’t come home to a burst pipe is to turn off your water supply while you’re gone. By draining the excess water in your system once the supply has been cut off you’ll add another level of security to your preventative measures, ensuring your pipes can’t burst with frozen water if the temperature drops unexpectedly.
Most stopcocks can be found under the kitchen sink (clear out that sink cupboard – it might be at the back there). Simply turn it clockwise and you’ll have shut off the water supply, securing your home. Remember to turn it back on when you come back!
Protect boilers, tanks and pipes in uninsulated areas
If you have water tanks, boilers or water pipes in areas like an attic space, uninsulated outbuilding or garage, make sure they’re sufficiently insulated with jackets or insulation foam. Also, if the space is attached to your property, leave any doors linking it to your insulated spaces open so warm air can circulate through. This reduces the risk of the inside temperature dropping to below freezing temperatures.
Fix every drip
If you have a dripping tap over the winter months, you’re putting your property at risk of some serious frozen pipe issues. Even a slow trickle can result in a frozen pipe if the temperature drops low enough. Plus – if the tap below your plughole becomes frozen, where is all the dripping water going to go? If you’re away from your property for any length of time, this could be disastrous for your pipes, your carpets, your floorboards, your electrics…
Leave the heating on low
It might seem a little over-cautious to leave the heating on for your water pipes, but by stopping your house from reaching very low temperatures, you’ll actually help the insulation to retain heat and save yourself a bit of money too. Reheating a property from freezing point is costly and takes time – time you might not have if you end up with a burst water pipe. By leaving your central heating on at around 14 degrees Celsius will keep the boiler ticking over and stop the cold from infiltrating your property.
If you take note of all these tips, you’ll probably never have to worry about a bust pipe again!
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. We know how to fix a burst water pipe and we know how to do it quickly, efficiently and at no cost to you.
Want to find out how?
Contact us today to find out how we can solve your burst pipe problems with our three-step process.