In plummeting temperatures, one of the first things to be affected is your pipework. It can easily become frozen over in wintry conditions and – with record-breaking cold snaps expected – the time is now to prepare your plumbing and central heating systems.
Frozen pipes can cause catastrophic damage, but how can you best prevent them, and what other steps can you take to get your plumbing ready for winter?
The team at Around the Bend Plumbing is here to offer some helpful tips.
Insulate your pipes
As temperatures decrease, the likelihood of your pipes freezing grows. Should your pipes become frozen, they can rupture to cause untold damage to your property.
The probability of this happening is reduced if all exposed pipes are insulated with foam lagging. You can purchase this from most DIY stores – all you need to do is cut it to the required size.
It’s also important to monitor your pipes and be wary of any changes.
If there’s a decrease in water pressure or flow, this can indicate that the pipe is frozen. One preventative measure you can take is to leave your taps trickling, so that water is always flowing throughout the system.
It’s also vital to be conscious of where your stopcock is located, in case you need to turn the water supply off in a hurry. In most homes, this can be found under the kitchen sink.
Protect any outside taps
When freezing temperatures hit, the first plumbing casualty will typically be any external taps you have.
There is no barrier to protect them from the elements, so it’s important to keep your taps snug with an insulating cover.
If water should freeze inside the tap, it will expand. This could cause the pipework to crack and leak, leading to an expensive repair job.
Maintain a consistent temperature inside your home
Not only is central heating vital for keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, but leaving your heating on low or on a timed schedule ensures hot water is always moving throughout your pipes.
Additionally, most modern central heating systems should be equipped with a frost protection setting.
This handy feature will automatically ignite the boiler when it senses that the water has dipped below a certain temperature – usually around 5℃.
This is another handy way to prevent pipes from freezing, and you should always check that this feature is operational when the weather gets colder.
Bleed your radiators
Are your radiators cold at the bottom when switched on?
This could be a sign that they need bleeding. In freezing conditions, your radiators are working overtime; this can cause air pockets to appear, meaning warmth isn’t evenly distributed.
The process of bleeding your radiators is relatively simple and you should be able to carry it out yourself at home.
Arrange a boiler service
A fully working boiler is essential for your safety and comfort during winter months.
An annual service ensures your boiler is operating efficiently, and a professional eye can identify flaws and hazards within your boiler before they worsen and shorten its lifespan.
To ensure your central heating system is ready for winter, consult the experts at Around the Bend Plumbing. Our experienced team can provide repairs and maintenance work for all plumbing systems, boilers and radiators. As a family-run business, we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and quality workmanship. We operate 24/7 in homes and businesses across Brighton, Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells and beyond.
For additional information or to receive advice from our friendly professionals, get in touch with us today.