How to prevent frozen pipes

Even when you’re not using your taps, your pipes will normally contain at least a small amount of water. When the temperatures fall, this water tends to freeze. Once this happens, you might find that you’re unable to access running water. Another reason why frozen pipes are problematic and need to be dealt with is that they can burst and leave your property flooded.

Frozen pipe prevention

There are several things you can do to prevent frozen water pipes in the first place. These include ensuring your pipes and water tanks are insulated. If you have pipes in cold areas, you can use pipe sponge covers for wrapping. Tanks located in colder areas of your home should be insulated. You should also maintain a temperature of around 12 to 15c even when you’re away from home during the winter months. Run your taps regularly – water is less likely to freeze when you’ve been using them recently. Some people keep their taps trickling slowly so water is constantly passing through their pipes. If you’re leaving home for a considerable period, you could consider draining your entire water system.

What should I do if my pipes have already frozen?

Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do if you already have frozen pipes, or suspect that you have. Some people try to defrost their pipes themselves. However, it may be best to seek out help if you don’t have any experience in this area. If you do want to defrost your pipes yourself, you can get the process underway by turning your taps on. This may relieve the pressure on the system and help you locate the frozen pipes whilst telling you which taps are and aren’t working. You are more likely to be able to remedy the situation yourself if only one tap is affected.

Which pipes are the most likely to freeze?

Pipes that are the most likely to freeze include ones that are located outside. A pipe is also likely to freeze if it’s based in an unheated place such as an attic. If you can’t access a frozen pipe or don’t know where it is, a good first step to take is to turn your heating up. This may help you thaw your frozen pipe or pipes. You can also move a portable heater to an otherwise unheated area like a loft. This may help with the thawing process.

Exposed pipes and dealing with burst pipes

If the pipe is exposed, you may be able to apply heat to it directly. This should be done slowly. You could use a hairdryer or a warm cloth. Direct flames should be avoided as you could end up with a melted or exploded pipe. If your pipe or pipes do burst, turn off your stop cock and get in touch with a qualified plumber as soon as possible. If you don’t know where your stop cock is, your water supplier should be able to tell you.

Contact us

If you have a problem with frozen pipes, talk to Ability today. Reach us by giving us a call on 0800 889015, using the form on our website or by sending a message to

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