Hints, tips and advice on how to keep your home warm, safe and comfortable in the cold weather.

Last year - the "Beast From The East" brought the UK some extremely cold weather. Along with supply pipes to homes, we had many calls from new customers with broken down boilers. Many of those we repaired had the same fault - a frozen condensate pipe. For people we couldn't get to - we updated our Facebook page with some practical advice. According to the Met Office, the cold weather is looming again and there are reports of sub zero temperatures on the way. We are happy to advise again on something to check if your boiler goes on the blink during a particularly cold snap!

If you look beneath your boiler there is generally just one pipe made from plastic. Trace this pipe to outside and look to thaw the ice inside using hot water from a kettle. You can use hot towels and hot water bottles too. Look at the end of the pipe if you can to check for an ice plug. Pouring hot water over the pipe you may see ice particles fall away at the end. In any case, keep warming the pipe for around half hour.  You will need to reset your boiler once the pipe is thawed to get it to run. A follow up appointment with a Gas Safe Registered engineer should be done to check the boiler when possible.

If you would rather head off this common fault on your boiler - call us to schedule an appointment with a qualified engineer who will service the appliance and provide practical advice on what steps can be taken to upgrade the condensate pipe work to avoid freezing. 

It is also wise to examine areas in your home where pipe work can be exposed to extreme cold.  The most common area being the loft space. Ensure the insulation on the pipe work is in good order and of sufficient thickness to ward off the cold and prevent it freezing/splitting.

Our last tip is to learn where your stop cock is situated and ensure it is in good working order. If a pipe freezes, it will often split - meaning when it thaws it will release water. Learning how to isolate your water supply will certainly lower the damage this causes until a plumber can get to you and make a repair. If your internal stop cock is broken, a plumber can isolate the supply outside the property and fit a new stop cock. There are now isolators for water supplies which are as easy to turn off as a light switch, so if you are not as nimble as you once were - give us a call to discuss the installation of a remote stop cock. 

Preparation of the cold weather ahead means you will be able to relax in your home - comfortable in the knowledge you have done all you can to prevent unwanted issues with your heating or water supply....

Written by - Dan Evans