Take measures to ensure your pipes don't freeze this winter
Are you ready for the cold weather? Are your water pipes ready? When the outside temperature drops below zero, unprotected pipes and dripping taps can freeze and crack. This can affect the water supply to your home or business and can be costly to repair. Follow these tips from Irish Water to prevent frozen pipes and unexpected leaks this winter.
Keep your house and attic warm
Warmth offers the best protection against frozen pipes. Leave heating on for longer periods at lower settings, even while away. Get heat into your attic by opening the trap door or leaving a light on in it.
Arrange a supply of fresh drinking water
It’s a good idea to have a separate supply of fresh drinking water available on your premises in case a water pipe freezes or bursts in cold temperatures.
Ensure any gaps under doors and around windows are covered or sealed as cold air coming from outside can cause pipes to freeze inside your home.
Circulate warm air
Opening doors to unheated areas of your home occasionally to allow warm air to circulate can prevent pipes and tanks from freezing in the cold weather.
Check your inside stop valve
Find your inside stop valve, which controls your water supply. Check to ensure it can be opened and closed easily in the event of a leak. If you’re going away, you may want to consider turning off your stop valve and draining the system so there is no water in the pipes to freeze.
Fix external dripping taps
We recommend you always fix any dripping taps but pay particular attention to external dripping taps in winter as water from them can freeze on the ground and can cause people to slip and injure themselves.
Service your boiler
Your boiler needs to be serviced regularly by an accredited plumber to run efficiently and to keep your home or business warm. If not, leaks could freeze and cause a breakdown and costly repairs
Insulate water tanks and pipes
All exposed pipes, including attic pipes should be adequately insulated. Insulate or wrap a towel around outside taps.
Shutting off the water supply when going away
If you are leaving your property unattended for an extended period of time, you may wish to shut off the water supply to the property from the external stopcock. You must ensure that any water-dependent appliances or facilities are also shut-off. If you have a meter installed by Irish Water, a frost plug has been inserted in the meter boundary box to prevent the meter and stop-cock from freezing.
If no meter is installed by Irish Water and you are concerned that the stopcock might freeze, open the stopcock chamber and remove any water. Fill the chamber with non-absorbent material to provide insulation. Do not use absorbent material as it too will freeze when wet.
These tips are offered as a guide only. Please visit www.winterready.ie for more information.