Water Pipe Protection
Water Pipe Protection is vital, whether you have copper, PVP, or some other type of pipe in your home. If
you do not take care in your protection, it won't be long before you have to deal with the reults.
The pipework of our houses tend to be neglected because most of them are out of sight, and we only
become aware of them when something goes wrong. However, for a fairly small outlay, all pipes can be protected and
much higher repair bills prevented.
Central Heating Failure
Nowadays, when most of us have central heating within our homes, it does not occur to us that internal
pipes could freeze and therfore burst.
The reality is though, that there can be an interuption in the power supply to our central heating system
which would allow our normally warm houses to cool down to the point where unprotected pipes can freeze.
This protection can be as simple as a foam sleeve covering the pipes, or some other type of sleeve that
will protect them against the elements.
Not only is there a need to prevent pipes from freezing up in colder months, but also to fight against
corrosion and condensation problems.
It is important to make sure that no part of the pipework is left exposed. As it only takes a short
piece of pipe to freeze for the whole system to become blocked.
Use duct tape to seal the foam sleeve and to connect each piece and to hold in place.
Loft Space Insulation
There has been a great deal of emphasis on ensuring we have the right depth of insulation material in our loft
spaces. This keeps the heat in our houses but has the effect of allowing the loft space which is unheated to become
Inspect your loft space for water pipes and ensure all of these pipes have sufficient insulation.
Solar Water Heating
Another area to check is that any internal pipework from solar water
heating that is installed on your roof has been insulated.
You may wonder why pipes that carry warm water need to be insulated, well the system does not work at
night and therefore these pipes are susceptable to freezing at night.
External pipes should always be buried underground by at least 12 inches and even deeper if you can. As
frost can penetrate the surface significantly. The further north you live the deeper these pipes should be
One of the problems with external pipes is that any burst might not be noticed for quite some time. This
means that you could lose a good deal of water, which could cause external damage.
But also the possibility of polution of your water supply by external elements.
Wells and Bore-holes
We take for granted piped water supply, but there are still many people that do not have access to such
luxuries. They depend on wells or bore-holes and these have their own problems.
- In wells the water is static and therefore the surface water is liable to freeze as are any pipework down
to the water level. So the important area for insulation is at the well head, to prevent cold air from
- Bore-holes should not have a problem if the pipework is buried all the way to the home. If the pumping
station is at the well head or the bore hole then this will need excellent insulation also.
Another reason that pipes freeze and become damaged is through low water
pressure caused by clogged pipes. This can be an issue that grows so gradually that it is almost un-noticable,
until a burst is caused by low temperatures.
This takes place because there is now a lot less water within the pipes and that water is more susceptable
to freezing. This can take place on waste pipes as well as delivery pipes.
Waste Pipes can become clogged and therefore more susceptable to freezing, check out our unblocking sinks page
for more advice on unclogging pipes.
Further advice can be found on our Home
Preperations for Winter page.
Well thought out prevention is much better than expensive repairs.
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