Frozen pipes can be a major problem in winter. Not only does a frozen pipe mean your water supply may be restricted, a frozen pipe can burst and create a serious leak.
This happens because when water turns to ice it expands, putting pressure on the pipe and potentially splitting it. You may not see the result of this split when the pipe is still frozen but as the pipe thaws water will leak from the split.
The best way of fixing a frozen pipe is stopping it happening in the first place.
The first job is to locate pipes that are in danger of freezing. These could be pipes on the outside of the house, pipes in the house in rooms that are typically un-heated, or pipes that are subject to drafts (such as in crawl spaces).
These pipes should be insulated using foam insulation or electrical tape or, in the worst case, wrapping rags or towels around the pipe. This will help keep the water in the pipe flowing except in the most extreme of weather.
Should you discover a frozen pipe you can try to unfreeze it by pouring hot water over it or using a hot water bottle. But beware of doing this – if the pipe has split unfreezing the pipe may result in a leak.
If the pipe is leaking you can try and fix it yourself by using the advice given here, or use our service to locate a qualified Local Hero who can both fix the frozen pipe and address any subsequent leakage should there be any.