As the colder weather rolls around once more, most of the UK relies on its plumbing to provide hot water and nice warm homes, insulating against the drop in temperature outside.
But to make sure that your plumbing doesn’t let you down when you need it the most, it’s essential to carry out a few basic checks before winter takes a real hold.
If you’re not sure about how to get your plumbing in ship-shape for the winter, here are a few hints about what you should be checking.
Take care of your tanks
Not all plumbing systems still rely on tanks but for those that do, making sure they are properly lagged and insulated is a must.
A cursory look won’t suffice; take time to inspect gaps, bends and joins in the pipes leading to the tank too to make sure there aren’t any gaps where the cold could get in.
If the tanks are located up in the loft or roof space, you might find the temperature up there is considerably colder than the rest of the house. In order to help the warmer air to circulate more freely, you might want to open up your loft hatch for a while.
Garages are another area to check; this type of space can get much colder than the rest of the house and pipes or plumbing located in this area need special attention.
Don’t ignore the drip
A dripping tap may be irritating but it can be easy to defer repairing it, after all, how much harm can a few drops of water really do?
It may be surprising but even a small trickle can lead to frozen pipes. Fix the problems as and when they occur and you won’t end up paying out far more to repair a much bigger issue that arises as a result.
Check before it gets too cold
Plunging temperatures can wreak havoc on pipes and plumbing that aren’t in tip top condition so make sure there’s no obvious weak spot which could cause serious problems once more pressure is placed on them.
Examples include split pipes: they may seem to be functioning perfectly well now but when the water starts to freeze, the results could be catastrophic.
If there are any signs that the pipes are damaged, call out a plumber now. The repairs now will be relatively minor compared to what could happen if your pipes burst and split.
Get it serviced
Just like the engine of a car, your boiler and central heating system will run far more smoothly if it has a regular service.
Just before winter is a good time to have a yearly service because it means you can be certain you approach the colder weather with everything in full working condition.
Don’t be tempted to skip a service just because your boiler is working well and without any problems. Many of the causes for a boiler breaking down are entirely preventable and may have been avoided if a proper service had taken place.
If you have any unheated parts of the property, minimise the effects of the cold weather by keeping windows closed and trying to prevent draughts from getting to the pipework.
Keeping doors closed and windows securely locked can help to keep out the worst of the winter weather, and will reduce the impact on pipes in your home.
Plumbing is such a vital part of your protection against the UK winter, if you spot any problems, don’t delay, just call out a plumber. Fast, reliable and efficient, a top plumber will be able to fix any of the above problems in a flash, helping you to make sure your winter home is warm and snug.