4 Secrets Every Homeowner Must Know To Prevent Frozen Pipes In Winter

11 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog


In 2015, many Australian homeowners had the horrible experience of dealing with a burst pipe, as a sudden burst of freezing weather swept across the nation. When temperatures drop below freezing, water in the pipes in your home can freeze and expand, bursting the pipe. This can lead to a potentially devastating flood when the weather warms up and the ice melts. Prevent this awful outcome by taking action before the winter weather hits.

1. Pipes Need Winter Clothes Too

In winter, you wear extra clothes to protect you from the cold. Your pipes need the same protection. Purchase some insulating foam and heat-resistant tape from your local hardware store and get ready to dress your pipes for winter. You'll need to wrap the foam around all accessible sections of water pipes in your home, including any pipes in the attic and basement. Use the tape to secure the foam in place.

2. Your Hose Could Be Your Weakest Link

Some homeowners insulate all the pipes inside their home and think they're safe from a flood. However, the garden hose can be a potential vulnerability. If the water in your hose freezes, it could increase the pressure throughout your plumbing system and cause a pipe to burst. Keep yourself safe by disconnecting any outdoor hoses before the cold weather comes.

3. Your Home is Most at Risk When You're on Vacation

When you head off on vacation, you want to forget all about the stresses you face at home. However, you could come home to a flood if you don't prepare properly before you travel. Temperatures in the home often drop furthest when the house is empty and the central heating is turned off, raising the risk of a burst pipe. Eliminate this risk by shutting off the water supply at the main valve and opening all the taps in your home to drain the water out of your pipes before you leave.

4. If a Pipe Has Frozen, You Need Professional Help

If a pipe does freeze, cutting off the water supply to part of your home, it's a mistake to try to fix it yourself. Instead, call an emergency plumber, who can locate the frozen pipe, replace a burst section if necessary, and thaw the ice without causing a flood in your home. Thawing out the pipe yourself could lead to a leak, which could cause permanent water damage to your walls, carpets or other fittings.