Winter plumbing tips

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Home Improvements

With the onset of winter it will pay to make some simple checks that can help save a plumbing disaster, should the frost strike.

The first place to start is in the loft of your home, it is sure to have at least ten inches of insulation, if it hasn’t you are just wasting heat and money. Assuming that you have topped up the roof insulation, how about the exposed pipework in the loft space? With the increase in insulation it is sure to mean that the roof space is colder than it was, pipework should be lagged using one of the proprietary closed cell polyethylene pipe wraps. Ensure that there are no gaps in the sleeve. The hot water and central heating tanks should also be insulated and be covered on top with a suitable insulated lid, a cracked tank due to frost can cause havoc below.

Do you have pipework that runs through a garage, perhaps to feed an outside tap? This is an area which can be affected by frost and all pipework here must also be lagged. Similarly the outside tap should be wrapped and where possible shut off for the winter period, do not forget to turn the tap on to drain and allow any water in the tap itself room to expand if it does freeze.

Gutters and downpipes should also be clear to ensure that there is nothing that will obstruct the water from clearing the gutters. You may be surprised at how many plastic gutters fill with debris and the water freezes in them causing them to crack. Avoid his expense by ensuring that they are free from debris.

Finally, if you have not already done so, locate where that stop tap is that isolates the incoming cold supply and make sure that it is free and easy to close and open. There should also be a tap which isolates the hot water and this should be located in the event that a problem arises with the tank.

Picture: akeg

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