A guide to dealing with frozen or burst pipes

It’s most certainly that time of year, and if you’re thinking about getting grit salt for your drive and you’re having to de-ice your car in the morning, you most certainly should be thinking about preventing your water pipes from freezing over, and having a plan in place to contact your local plumber in Northampton should they decide to anyway!

Preparing for a freeze

Make sure pipes are lagged (insulated)

Pipe lagged is a special type of insulation for water pipes, designed to keep heat in. This is great for not only keeping your pipes from freezing, but also for saving energy. All visible pipes, particularly exposed pipes in your attic, should be lagged – and the thicker the lagging, the better! Don’t just be concerned with the pipes, though, it’s important to insulate your boiler too.

Repair dripping taps

Now is the time to repair dripping taps before they freeze and block pipes. It’s fairly simple to replace the washers, and much cheaper than repairing damage caused if you don’t. As I always the case, prevention is always better than a cure!

What to do if you have a leak or a burst pipe

1. Check where your stop tap is.

This is essential. The first thing to do when you have a leak is to turn off your water. This will prevent the flow of water, allow you to assess the damage and provide safe access for repairs. You stop tap is usually situated under the kitchen sink.

2. Drain the system

Once the water is off, it’s time to drain the system. Simply turn on all your cold taps and flush your toilets. Job done!

3. Turn off heating

As much as it pains us to say it, you’ll need to put a jumper of and turn off the central heating, immersions and other heating installations. Then it’s time to drain the system again and turn on the hot taps in the house

4. Turn off the electrics

Water and electricity is a very bad combination. If water from a burst pipe is leaking near any electrics, switch off the mains - but if the mains switch is wet DO NOT TOUCH IT! Instead, call a qualified electrician.

5. Collect the water

Whether a mop with suffice or you need to bring in the buckets, it’s now time to begin clearing up as best you can. With the water switched off you won’t be fighting a losing battle, and should be able dry everything up. Be very careful if the ceiling starts to bulge though, best to steer clear if that is the case.

6. Fix the leak

With your part now done, it’s time to call your local plumber to repair the leak. Here at Assett Plumbing, we’re proud to offer a 24 hour emergency plumbing service. It’s often the case that burst pipes happen outside of office hours, so you can rest assured that a highly qualified Northampton plumber will be ready to come and help you in your hour of need.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.