DrainChecker Blog

Protecting Your Pipes Over Christmas Getaways

Spending Christmas with family, friends, or just getting away? All sound like a plan, leaving the cooking and cleaning to someone else or, just had enough of tinsel and The Pogues, we feel you. However, left behind is your poor, cold house, left alone and vulnerable to frozen pipes without you to look after them.

We know we can’t stop you going away over Christmas, or spending it with other folks, but we can help you prepare those pipes for before you leave.

What causes pipes to freeze and burst?
Pipes freeze for the apparent reason when the temperature drops, incorrectly insulated pipes in homes that aren’t heated sufficiently will become prime targets to freeze over. Think back to high school science for a moment, and you may remember that when water freezes it expands, this expansion will cause a blockage, the pressure that builds up behind the obstruction is what causes your pipes to burst.

So, before you leave home this Christmas, let’s protect them with a few home checks.
1. Double check that all taps are off. If a blockage occurs and a valve is left dripping or running the build-up could be enough to flood your home.
2. If you have a garden tap which connects to your water mains, then a quick and straightforward way to protect them from frost is to insulate them before you leave. You can buy insulated tap covers at most DIY stores for a reasonable price.
3. Despite it not being a draining pipe, here is a bonus tip is for your heating pipes. If you’re leaving for some time, it may be worthwhile setting your heating on a timer; this would stop central heating pipes from bursting, and prevent mould or dampness throughout your home.
4. Consider turning off your water completely. To have the best peace of mind, you could turn it off at the stopcock to ensure no water is flowing through your property. Modern pipes and drains don’t require this, however, to ensure there is no water in those pipes, a simple two-minute job mean your pipes are one less thing to think about on your break.

If you do notice your pipes have frozen the first thing to do is turn off the water off at the stopcock, this will stop any pressure building behind the blockage. If you’re worried about cracked pipes, leaking pipes or have water level/pressure problems get in touch with the Happy Drains team via our contact page or by calling 0800 849 8099.