Plumbing and Cold Weather Issues

Depending on where in the world you live, you will come across different weather related issues and the effects it might have on your property. In this article I will tell you a bit more about some of the issues we face here in the UK and this is in relation to the cold weather we sometimes experience during the winter months.

Cold Weather

Frozen Pipes

If you come across a frozen pipe, that are some easy solutions to this. Most frozen pipes can be thawed out by wrapping soaked hot water towels around them or by using a hairdryer on them. You can be sure to locate the correct frozen pipe as the tap end of it, will no longer work, caused by a plug of ice somewhere in the pipe. To locate an ice plug, always start by opening the tap in question and work your way backwards along the pipe by warming it up. Once the water is flowing again, lag the pipe in order to prevent it from freezing again.

Frozen Pipe

Burst Pipes

If worst comes to worst and you come across a burst pipe – do not panic! The first thing you will have to do is to switch off the water at the mains stop-valve and turn on all the taps. Then it is time to try to locate the location of the burst pipe. I would advice to use a torch as any water damage might have rendered the electrical fittings unsafe. If your house has copper pipes, frosty conditions might cause a compression joint to blow and cause the pipe to come out of its fitting but this can easily be fixed even though a new olive might be needed. You would have a bigger problem if the water in the pipe froze and caused the pipe to split. The best thing to do in this situation is to locate the split, cut out the damaged part of the pipe and insert a new one. You can get special fittings for these types of jobs and I prefer the long slip compression coupler without internal stops. For a temporary fix on lead pipes, you can use resin fillers that are simply applied to the pipe. This will stem the water flow and some of these fillers are strong enough to withstand the pressure from the mains very quickly. Some of these should be used in connection with a bandage or tape for best results though. Another quick fix that should only be used temporarily is the so called repair clamp for burst pipes. Best of luck!

Burst Pipe



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