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What To Do If Your Pipes Freeze or Burst This Winter

Winter is upon us and along with the coldest time of the year comes all the plumbing issues with your pipes! This year the UK will suffer millions of pounds worth of damage from floods caused by burst and frozen pipes.
Frozen pipes causes immense pressures which can burst and block pipes in your business or home so. It is in fact the most common cause for home insurance claims yet many people do not know how to prevent this issues from arising or what they should do if a pipe does freeze and burst.

Prepare Your Pipes for Freezing Weather

There are a number of preventative measures you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place, some of these are:
Lag Pipes – Any visible pipes should be insulated with pre-formed foam which can be wrapped around them, this foam needs to be around 50mm in diameter.
Taps Dripping – A dripping tap can be one of the major causes of freezing pipes which eventually leads to blocked and then burst pipes. It’s essential that you get them fixed as soon as possible to prevent any issues.
Attic Doors & Hatches – When it gets really cold, leaving a loft hatch open will allow warmer air to circulate into the roof space which can help prevent pipes from freezing.
Hose Pipes – Disconnecting any hose pipes and turning them off at the valve is also a good idea.

What To Do in an Emergency

Frozen Pipes
If you find you have a frozen pipes you should:
Turn off the water – A lot of people do not know where their homes stop tap is located, usually it can be found under the kitchen sink, if you have a frozen pipe, the first thing you need to do is turn the water off at the stop tap as this will minimize any further damage if the pipe does burst.
Protect Your Property – Move anything of any value i.e furniture and clothing away from any pipes that may be frozen, so if it does burst it isn’t likely to damage anything else. It’s also good idea to cover your consumer unit with a plastic bag so it does not get wet.
Locate The Frozen Pipes – You can locate a frozen pipe by checking the flow of water in places like the bathroom, shower room and toilets. If there is no or very little flow that will indicate that the frozen pipe is near by. Feel along the pipes to find the frozen areas and look for bulges in the pipe.
Thaw The Pipe – You can use a hair dryer once you have located the frozen area of the pipe to help thaw out the affected area. Do not use a blow torch or anything like that. Turn on any taps that are near to the frozen pipe to help the thawed water run out.
Cant Find The Frozen Pipe? – If you are unsure of where your frozen pipe is then contact JWC Plumbing and Heating immediately and we will come to you as a matter of urgency.

Burst Pipes
If a pipe bursts in your property you should:
Turn off the water – The same as if your pipe freezes you must turn off your water supply using the stop-tap.
Drain The System – It’s essential to get as much water out of the system as possible to help prevent water flooding through the house. You can do this by turning on all the cold taps and flushing the toilets.
Turn Off Your Heating – You also need to turn off your heating system and any immersion heaters. Once this has been done you then need to drain the heating system by running all your hot taps.
Turn off Electrics – If your burst pipe is near any electrical systems such as your consumer unit, you should turn off your electricity supply to prevent possible cause of fire.
Collect The Water – Although it seems obvious, you need plenty of buckets, pans etc to collect the water to prevent it doing further damage to the property. If you see ceilings starting to bulge out then stay away from it as it may collapse.
Call Your Insurance Company – Your insurance company will have a number you can call for emergencies for situations such as this. Contact them and they will be able to advise you on starting a claims process and inform you on how payment for repairs will be made.
Recording Damage – It’s important that you record as much evidence as you can of the damage caused from the burst pipe to aid you in your insurance claim.
Get The Burst Pipe Fixed – Get the pipe fixed by a qualified emergency plumber such as JWC Plumbing and Heating.

If you find you have a frozen or burst pipe then you can contact JWC Plumbing and Heating on 0151 345 4039 and we will endeavor to be with you as quickly as possible.

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