19th October 2011

As homeowners you are responsible for the pipework within your property. Burst pipes can cause major problems and often costly repair jobs.

Following last years extremely cold winter during which we were inundated with calls regarding burst pipes and heating problems we have decided to forward Northern Ireland Water advice for your information.

Avoiding frozen pipes

  • Insulate water tanks and pipes in unheated areas like lofts, roof spaces, garages, outbuildings
  • Fix dripping taps - a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe
  • Check where internal stop tap/valve is located - usually under the kitchen sink
  • Keep your boiler well serviced to keep the house heated
  • Make sure doors and windows from unheated parts of your property are kept closed and minimise any draughts from outside
  • Open the trap door into the roof space to allow some of the warm air to circulate in the roof space
  • Leave the heating on low if you are away from home or the property is unoccupied and leave a key with a neighbour, friend or family member who can check the house regularly for frozen pipes
  • Write down the name and contact details for a number of SNIPEF registered plumbers in your areaKeep this information in a safe place where you can refer to it quickly in an emergency.

Dealing with frozen pipes

  • Turn water supply off at the stop tap/valve
  • Thaw along the pipe starting from the end nearest the tap
  • Don't use a blow lamp or any naked flame

Should you have any further queries please call 08457 440088

Put hot water bottles or a thick cloth soaked in hot water over the frozen pipe or use an electric hair dryer at its lowest setting to thaw pipes.

Be careful not to warm them too quickly or they may burst

Don't leave taps dripping or running. The water may not flush down the plug hole if the pipes below are frozen

If a pipe does burst

  • Turn off the stop tap/valve
  • Try and block the escaping water with thick cloth like towels
  • Open all taps to reduce flooding
  • Call a plumber
  • Don't forget to turn off taps once the problem is fixed, otherwise there will be another flood later!

Call Waterline on 08457 440088