Protect your plumbing against the cold weather with Three Counties

Although we haven’t had much of a summer, it seems that very soon, the colder weather will be upon us for the winter season! Did you know that cold weather is the biggest factor in damaged and broken plumbing, resulting in hefty insurance claims and insurers paying out a staggering £1.8 million per day! Whilst your home insurance may somewhat protect your finances, your memories of your home and prized possessions are not, and neither is the time you will have to take out to support the repairs and reclaim your items if your home is damaged by a burst or leaking water pipe.

Follow our blog this month to find out how you can protect your home from the plumbing damage the winter weather can bring and stay warm all season with perfectly protected pipes.

Protect your pipes before the winter months

It’s the stuff of nightmares for a homeowner. You come home from a long day at work, only to find that your house has been overcome by a torrent of water from one of your internal pipes. What do you do first – save your belongings or call a plumber? If you have been through this or a similar situation before, you will know the pain of dealing with this situation and would want to do anything to prevent it from happening again in the future. Three Counties Plumbing and Heating have some top tips for you that will protect your plumbing this winter:

Know the location of your stopcock – If you have come home to find water everywhere, the first thing you need to do is turn off your mains water. This is always made more difficult if you aren’t sure where your stopcock is! Make a note of its location so you can head straight there if you find the worst has happened.

Keep your heating on a constant even setting (even when you aren’t at home) – make sure your home and pipes stay warm will support keeping the water running through your home and prevent them from freezing.

Insulate pipes that are external or in an unheated place – Don’t forget about those pipes that don’t benefit from the heating remaining at a constant temperature. Outside pipes and not heated pipes (such as those in your loft) will need to be insulated through the winter months to protect them. Wrap them in warm sheets or purchase some pipe lagging in covering them up.

Protect your water tank – If you have an older tank in your home, it may not be insulated and, therefore, will benefit from a hot water jacket to support it through the winter.

Keep warm air circulating – Many of us are tempted to shut our internal doors as a way of keeping the heat in a room when it’s cold. We are here to tell you that you should avoid doing this wherever possible. Keep your doors open and allow that heat to flow around your home for a more even temperature.

Get your boiler serviced – Ensure your boiler is in full working order before settling in the winter months, as any faults can be repaired quickly and without issue. Frozen pipes can also push your boiler to shut down, and if your boiler is already facing faults, this could cause serious issues in your home.

The damage that cold weather can do to your plumbing system 

There are a variety of issues and faults that cold temperatures can put upon your plumbing system – some are more serious than others: 

  • Burst or frozen pipes – a burst or frozen pipe can have severe consequences on your home, including damages, a lack of water supply and costs to both yourself and your insurance. 
  • Boiler Shutdown – damaged pipes can also often lead to damage to your boiler, either through faults and malfunctions or through a complete shutdown. You may notice a drop in the water pressure if your boiler has a fault or a malfunction. 
  • Clogged Drains – be aware of the waste you are washing down your sink, particularly during the winter months, as once your waste hits the outside pipework, it’s likely to thicken up and stick to the sides of the pipes. Over time this could cause a substantial build-up in your system. 

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How do you know if your pipes are frozen?

One effortless way of knowing if you have a frozen pipe is to check your sinks or toilet’s water supply and pressure. If your toilet is not refilling after a flush and you have little to no water supply coming through your taps, this could be an obvious sign that you have a frozen pipe somewhere within your plumbing. 

If you have found your frozen pipe, don’t panic! There are a few things you can do to thaw your pipe before you give up and call a plumber: 

  1. Turn off your water via your stopcock
  2. Turn on the cold taps in your home, as this will support the water to start moving when the thawing process begins.
  3. Use a heat source such as a hot water bottle or hairdryer to start to warm the pipes – be mindful of any electricity near the pipes and consistently move your heat source, so it doesn’t stay in one place for too long. 
  4. Check for any leaks before turning your stopcock back on! 

 If you are not confident in attempting to thaw your pipes, or you think there may be another issue, give Three Counties Plumbing and Heating a call. We will make an emergency visit to check the issues you are facing and support you to resolve them quickly. 

Three Counties Plumbing and Heating - the experts you can trust 

With over 21 years of experience in the plumbing and heating industry, we have the knowledge and experience required to work in the best interest of your plumbing. We can support you and your home with anything plumbing and heating-related, from emergencies to installations and power flushes to kitchen sinks. Whether you need support with your kitchen installation or some emergency pipe repairs, give Three Counties Plumbing a call today and use an expert you can trust! 

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