Bad weather advice

We all remember the Beast from the East earlier this year.

Many of you suffered boiler breakdowns and frozen condensing pipes.

Hopefully we won’t suffer similar bad weather this winter, but if we do, here are some things you can do to treat frozen pipes before calling repairs:

  • Use hot water – not boiling – heated by a kettle or a microwave and pour over the end of the pipe where it’s frozen but be careful not to scald yourself.
  • This water may freeze if it goes on a path or walkway so take care.
  • Hold a hot water bottle or heat wrap around the pipe to thaw it.
  • Once the pipe has thawed you should then re-set your boiler by holding the reset button for 10 seconds and wait for the boiler to re-fire.
  • If you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour or relative you may be able to help them do this if necessary.
  • If you think your pipes have frozen, make sure you know where and how to turn your water off – this will be at your stopcock.
  • When pipes freeze, they can sometimes split, which will cause a flood once they thaw so find out where your stopcock is now, not after the thaw.

In case of power outages or problems, below are some tips you may find useful from various sources including power companies:

  • Fill a flask with hot water
  • Keep a torch handy and make sure it has working batteries in
  • Prepare a meal that can be eaten cold
  • Avoid using candles and paraffin heaters
  • Keep a wind-up/battery/solar radio ready so you can listen to local radio updates
  • Many modern telephones, especially digital or cordless ones, don't work in a power cut. Keep an ordinary analogue one handy.