What to do if your pipes freeze

As the weather gets colder, the pipes in homes can freeze. Here’s what to do if it happens to you.

If you haven’t been able to fix your pipes, here’s a list of approved plumbers who might be able to help you.

Also don’t forget if you have cover with HomeServe and your pipes freeze and burst, Homeserve could save you costly bills.

If you think a pipe is frozen you should:

1. Turn OFF your water stop tap! Turn it clockwise to turn off the water (right for tight).

2. Turn ON all the cold taps in the house, this will allow the water to escape when it starts to thaw.

3. Remove items from around the frozen pipe. You can use a hot water bottle wrapped in a tea towel, pushed against the pipes to help try thaw the pipes out. Be sure to start from the end nearest the tap.

Alternatively, you can take a hair dryer and, starting at the end nearest the tap use it on the low setting to warm the frozen pipe. This may take a while but be sure to keep the hair dryer and any electrical items a safe distance from the defrosting pipe.

4. Once the pipes have thawed, double check there are no leaks before turning the water back on. You can do this by running dry kitchen paper towels along the pipe and checking to see if there are any wet patches on the kitchen paper when you’re done.

If there are wet patches on the kitchen paper towel, you may have a leak on your internal pipes. As the home owner you are responsible for getting these burst pipes fixed, so have the number of a certified plumber handy. Call them before turning your water back on.

If you're sure none of your pipes are leaking, turn your water back on at the stop tap by turning it anticlockwise (left for loose).