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How to thaw out frozen pipes

Frozen PipesDuring very cold periods of weather, you may find that pipes in your property may become frozen. But don't fear, follow our tips below to find out how to beat the freeze:

Heating Pipes

*If the heating pipe has burst, you will need to turn the water off at the mains and you will also need to turn off the electricity supply to the boiler at the isolating switch normally found along side it. Then contact Bromford on 0330 1234 034 immediately! With the water turned off you need to be aware that water will still escape until the water contained in the heating system has drained.

Is the pipe frozen?

First you need to be sure that a frozen pipe is the cause of the problem. There should be a fault code on the boiler but if this is not clear listen for the gurgling noise.

How can I un-freeze the pipe?

Try to gently unfreeze the pipe by placing a hot water bottle on it or alternatively apply the type of heat pads you use for easing muscle pain. 
 
Or try pouring warm water on the pipe from something like a watering can. Do not use boiling water as this could ruin the pipe! You could look into buying low cost lagging or insulation material from your local hardware store to help prevent pipes from freezing.

What do I do when the pipe is unfrozen?

Once the pipe is unfrozen, you may need to reset your boiler. Your system should then spark back into life.

I'm unsure whether it is a frozen pipe or not following these steps?

If you are in any doubt of the nature of the problem, then call Customer Services on 0330 1234 034.

Water Pipes

Beware the unexpected cold snap or deep freeze. Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during very cold winter weather. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert a lot of pressure. This pressure is enough to rupture most pipes filled with water.

When the pipe bursts it will spill a lot of water, so please do something that may prevent a frozen water pipe. If a pipe has burst, you will need to turn off the water at the mains immediately! Then contact us on 0330 1234 034 as soon as possible! If any electrical items get wet, don't touch them. Turn off the electricity at the mains.

 Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when located:

  • In an outside wall
  • Under a sink on an outside wall
  • In an unheated area.

In the situation where your pipe is frozen but not yet ruptured, you need to thaw it out as soon as possible.

Stop Taps

If you have a leak in your property or a pipe bursts, you will need to turn off the water at your stop tap to prevent any further flooding or damage.

If a pipe has burst, you will need to turn off the water at the mains immediately! Then contact us on 0330 1234 034 as soon as possible!

Homes typically have an internal and an external stop tap:

What is an internal stop tap for?

The stop tap inside your home allows water in from the pipe in the street

Where is my internal stop tap?

Internal stop taps can usually be found in the pipework under your kitchen sink, downstairs bathroom, cloakroom, garage or utility room. They are sometimes located in cellars.

If you have recently had work carried out in your house, it may be that your builder or plumber has turned your internal stop tap off and not turned it back on again. If this is the case you should check with them before turning the stop tap on.

My Internal stop tap doesn't work?

Contact us on 0330 1234 034 as soon as possible so we can arrange an engineer to attend for this

I do not have an internal stop tap

You may be fed by an external stop tap. If not, Contact us on 0330 1234 034 as soon as possible so we can arrange an engineer to attend for this.

*If you have a leak in your property, turn the water off at the stop tap and contact Bromford on 0330 1234 034 as soon as possible! If you have a burst pipe, you will need to turn the water off at the mains and contact Bromford on 0330 1234 034 as soon as possible!

External stop taps

Where is my external stop tap?

External stop taps are normally found in the footpath or public highway, just outside your property. In some cases there will be only one stop tap serving a number of properties (a shared supply), so it may not be right outside your property.

Who is responsible for the external stop tap?

External stop taps are owned by the water company and should only be operated by people who are employed by the water company, except in the case of an emergency and/or if everyone whose water supply is controlled by the stop tap has agreed to the supply being turned off.

However, sometimes if work is being carried out in your area, such as new housing developments, repairs in the highway or maintenance work on a house close by, your stop tap may have been turned off. Stop taps usually have a plastic or metal cover marked "Water" or 'W' however, they can unfortunately be covered over by contactors working in the highway or neighbours undertaking DIY or maintenance work

Being prepared

Make sure you ensure that any external taps are insulated and isolated during the winter months. You can find items to buy to help you insulate taps and help prevent thawing from your local hardware store.