Simple steps to reduce the risk of burst pipes

During cold weather, inconvenience and damage as a result of burst pipes is a possibility. Repairs alone can cost a small fortune. However, with some simple precautions the risk can be reduced.

Prevention is better than cure

Take the following, simple steps. This will reduce the risk of a burst or frozen pipe, and minimise the chance, of water damage or closure of your building

Preventing burst and frozen pipes

The following can help prevent your pipes from freezing:
·                                 know where the internal stop/tap valve is (usually under the kitchen sink) and how to turn it off.
·                                 Isolate & drain down “legs” of pipework not in use (outside taps cellars etc)
·                                 Out side taps, out building pipework needs insulation and protection (Outside Tap Covers £3 and foam insulation B&Q)
·                                 keep the building heating on and warm the building even at weekend and shut down periods. £10 spent on heating an empty space is a small price to pay
·                                 Insulate pipes in exposed or draughty places (foam tubes £1 a meter B&Q)
·                                 Leave the trap door to lofts and roof storage doors open, during extreme weather conditions. This will help keep water tanks & pipes from freezing
·                                 Make Sure taps are turned off properly, especially last thing at night
·                                 Have a Plumbers or your maintenance persons number to hand
You should:
·                                 Never use gas or paraffin heater in the roof % Loft spaces
·                                 Become familiar with your water supply system now and find the main stopcock which turns off the water supply to your property
·                                 Your sites Legionella Risk Assessment will have a schematic diagram showing your mains water supply stop cock and isolation valves

Frozen pipes

In the event of a pipe freezing:
·                                 Put hot water bottles or a thick cloth soaked in hot water over the frozen pipe - when thawing, start at the end of the pipe nearest the tap and work away from it
·                                 never use a naked flame

Burst pipes

If a pipe bursts:
·                                 Turn off the main stopcock
·                                 If the flow of water cannot be stopped, open all the cold taps to drain the system

·                                 If the burst is on a pipe from the storage tank, turn off the stop valve in the storage tank, turn on all hot taps to drain the system, turn the heating off until the burst pipe has been attended to by a plumber

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