A frozen pipe is an inconvenience but it can very quickly become an emergency. If it bursts, thawed water will come pouring from the break which can lead to serious water damage.
Carry out the following steps as soon as you discover a frozen pipe:
1. Turn off your water supply:
Turn off the main stop tap (also known as the stopcock). This is usually located under the kitchen sink or near to where the service pipe enters your home.
If you have a cold water tank, turn off its stopcock. Cold water tanks are usually found in a loft or large cupboard.
2. Contain the burst pipe:
If possible, place a bucket or basin under the pipe to catch the water and to protect everything around the pipe.
3. Thawing out:
Turn on a tap connected to the pipe so that water and steam can come out when it the ice has melted.
Starting from the tap end of the pipe and working backwards, thaw out the ice in the pipe with a hot water bottle or hairdryer. Never use a heat gun or blow torch as these can damage the pipe and walls or flooring next to it.
Another method is to wrap heavy towels round the affected area of the pipe and pour boiling water over the towel. Make sure you have a container under the towel to catch the water.
If your pipe is burst you should keep your stopcock turned off and contact a plumber to repair or replace the damaged pipe.
24 Hour Emergency Plumber
If you live within the Glasgow area or in the Central Belt of Scotland, C Hanlon have a 24 hour Emergency Plumbers service for dealing with burst pipes. Just call us on 0843 289 2038.