Frozen Water Pipe Risks and Issues

Water will never freeze up inside your pipework if your home has been designed and built correctly and you have taken the appropriate preventative measures. For instance, piping that is much closer to external walls or that are in parts of the property where they have greater exposure to the elements are insulated to stop serious fluctuations and drops in temperature. That is why, when winter is on the horizon, you need to check the insulation, and if it is not in good condition, you need to replace it.

As well as investing in pipe lagging or insulation, there are various steps you can take to stop your pipes from freezing up, though it depends on the devices and appliances connected to your pipes and how your home has been designed. Take for instance. If you are planning to leave your property for an extended period during winter, it is recommended that you remember to disconnect any hoses that may be connected to your water supply. Before you disconnect them, make sure you drain them properly and even consider completely shutting off the water valve to stop unwanted water from collecting in your piping. You can do this by switching off the mains water supply and running all the taps in the house until they stop dripping.

In most cases, the best way to minimise the issues surrounding exposed piping is to insulate it. You can find all sorts of lagging and insulation at However, there are areas that it may not be possible to rely on just this method. Suppose your home is in a particularly cold climate. In that case, if you have the available budget, you may consider hiring a plumber to completely redesign the piping layout to reroute it into the warmer areas of your property. However, this isn’t particularly practical, so as well as ensuring that any insulation you have is surrounding your pipework, you need to also look to sealing and fixing any gaps to stop freezing air making its way into your home.

Another interesting way to stop pipes freezing over is to have a small volume of water run through your piping over a prolonged period. It won’t necessarily stop the water from freezing up inside the piping. It will, though, alleviate pressure from the piping when the ice does start to build up. This release of pressure can help to stop or, at the very least, slowdown and delay bursts from happening. As it is a wasteful solution, you should only consider it for pipes that are always exposed.

What happens, though, when water freezes inside your piping? As the water flow in the piping is brought to a standstill, the pressure of that frozen water can cause bursts in the weakest parts of the pipework. When this occurs, you need to act quickly. First, turn off the water supply. As is the case in any emergency involving the water supply in your home, mitigating the pipe’s leak can stop further damage from happening.

As we’ve hopefully shown, frozen pipes might not be as much of a problem for the UK as other countries, it is still taking the appropriate measures to stop it. Don’t try to save a few pounds and do everything yourself. Once you’ve reached the stage outlined above, contact a professional who knows what they are doing and won’t make matters worse.