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How to thaw out frozen pipes

During 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:

How to use a boiler buoy to eliminate freezing condensate pipes in a boiler

If you have a Boiler Bouy fitted to your boiler you can watch this video from 1.05 minutes in to see how to use it.

Heating Pipes

If your 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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.

When the pipe bursts it will spill a lot of water. In the situation where your pipe is frozen but not yet ruptured, you need to thaw it out as soon as possible. Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when located:

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


Stop Taps

If you have a leak in your property or a pipe bursts, you will need to turn the water off immediately to prevent any further flooding or damage and contact us on 0330 1234 034 as soon as possible.

If work is being carried out in your area, such as repairs on a house nearby, it may be that a builder or plumber has turned your external 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.

Homes typically have an internal and an external stop tap:

External stop taps

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.