Follow our tips to winter proof your home this year to avoid any issues with your water supply when the temperature drops.
People often have issues with frozen pipes when the temperature drops below zero, which can then cause cracks when they thaw and result in expensive repairs and a disrupted water supply.
Prepare your home in advance
Help to keep your winter free of extra stress by getting your home ready for the cold weather. Waiting until the temperature drops mean that your pipes may already be frozen.
Insulate water tanks and pipes
All exposed pipes, including attic pipes should be adequately insulated. Insulate or wrap a towel around outside taps to help prevent them from freezing over.
Service your boiler
Your boiler needs to be serviced regularly by an accredited plumber to run efficiently and to keep your home or business warm. If not, leaks could freeze and cause a breakdown and costly repairs.
Check your inside stop valve
Check to ensure it can be opened and closed easily in the event of a leak. If you’re going away, you may want to consider turning off your stop valve and draining the system so there is no water in the pipes to freeze.
Fix external dripping taps
We recommend you always fix any dripping taps but pay particular attention to external dripping taps in winter as water from them can freeze on the ground and can cause people to slip and injure themselves.
Minimise all draughts
Ensure any gaps under doors and around windows are covered or sealed as cold air coming from outside can cause pipes to freeze inside your home.
Keep your home warm
Leave heating on for longer periods at lower settings, even while away. Doing this allows warm air to circulate, and will help prevent pipes and tanks from freezing in the cold weather.
Once the temperature drops
When the temperature is below zero, it’s particularly important to take extra steps to prevent water in your pipes freezing. If you have no water or low water pressure in the winter, your pipes may already be frozen.
Circulate warm air to unheated areas
Opening doors to unheated areas of your home occasionally to allow warm air to circulate can prevent pipes and tanks from freezing in the cold weather.
Running your taps will not prevent pipes from freezing
This is especially important as this can cause frozen drains and puts undue pressure on supplies across the network.
Arrange a supply of fresh drinking water
It’s a good idea to have a separate supply of fresh drinking water available on your premises in case a water pipe freezes or bursts in cold temperatures.
Leaving your property unattended?
If you are leaving your property unattended for an extended period of time, you may wish to shut off the water supply to the property from the external stopcock. You must ensure that any water-dependent appliances or facilities are also shut-off.
If you have a meter installed by Irish Water, a frost plug has been inserted in the meter boundary box to prevent the meter and stop-cock from freezing.
If no meter is installed by Irish Water and you are concerned that the stopcock might freeze, open the stopcock chamber and remove any water. Fill the chamber with non-absorbent material to provide insulation. Do not use an absorbent material as it too will freeze when wet.