At the height of British summer, it is all too easy to forget that autumn will return followed by the biting cold of winter. Auger thinks summer is the best time to take steps to prevent frozen pipes. Anything is better than barking knuckles during the depths of winter. Moreover, the Association of British Insurers ABI knows that avoiding pipes bursting during freezing ought not to be that difficult to achieve.
[caption id="attachment_22811" align="alignright" width="339"] Lagging Insulation Fotolia 94335961[/caption]
To prepare for winter, first locate the main water cut-off stopcock, and check it works properly. Then repair any dripping taps, and check that pipes and tanks in the loft have all their lagging, and that this is intact.
[caption id="attachment_22808" align="alignleft" width="341"] Burst Pipes Fotolia 127498219[/caption]
If you are planning to be away in winter, set the heating to turn on for at least an hour a day. If you anticipate extreme conditions, leave the loft trap door open so the heat can circulate.
Finally, ask a friend to pop by once a day. If they find something untoward, they can call a plumber with your permission.
If you do experience a frozen pipe next winter, then the ABI recommends turning off the main stopcock, and thawing the pipe with a hot water bottle or hair dryer. If a pipe has burst, they advise turning off your water heating and central heating too, and draining the system down while you phone for a plumber.