With the colder weather on its way across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole the likelihood of frozen water pipes is greatly increased. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and creates pressure on your pipes. This pressure can rupture almost any pipe filled with water where there is no place for the water to expand to and can cause several hundred gallons of water per hour to spill, which can create huge damage, particularly when inside your home.
Pipes most likely to freeze are those on an outside wall, inside a cupboard under a sink (particularly one near an outside wall), an unheated space like an attic or basement.
There are some practical things that you can do to prevent frozen pipes.
Leave the tap on slightly (dripping) during the coldest part of the day as this keeps the flow of water. Open cupboard doors so the heat from rooms can reach the pipes, wrap potential at risk pipes with electric wrap tape, insulate at risk pipes (won’t prevent freezing it just slows the process down), keep at risk areas permanently heated (not with portable heaters)
How do you know if a pipe is frozen
If you switch on a tap and no water or only a trickle comes out and its freezing weather this is an indication of a blockage of ice somewhere in the pipe.
You must IMMEDIATELY turn of the water at the main water valve (stopcock) – this stops any potential flow of water should the pipe burst.
Some tips on thawing frozen pipes
If a pipe is frozen but not yet cracked, you must thaw it right away. We suggest a few thawing techniques, depending on where your frozen pipe is located.
Inside pipes – you can turn up the heating and wait for the thaw or use a heated lamp (infrared is best) do NOT use anything like a blow torch the heat must be gentle and gradual.
Outside exposed pipes – heat from the tap towards the frozen area using a hairdryer, a heat lamp, electric pipe heat tape (wraps round the pipe) or a blow heater which is more powerful than the hairdryer option.
If you need help with blocked drains, toilets or gutters and you live in Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole and Portsmouth give us a ring 24/7 01258 863745