? asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

How Can You Fix Frozen WaterPipes (Its a house On The Corner Where Water Pressure Is Low Anyway UK?

We have hit - temp the pipes have frozen ,no water through the taps.The pressure has dropped to zero stopping the boiler from working(no hot water) any advice before we freeze

9 Answers

  • nosdda
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    If your pipes are frozen, then open all your taps before the pipes burst. Open them even if you have to warm them to do so. The reason for this, is because when pipes freeze the ice in the pipes contracts, but when it thaws, it expands. This expansion has then to find a way out, and if no taps are open , it will find the weakest part of a pipe and burst out. So, if you have taps open, this expansion can find a way out, and you won't have burst pipes. Also remember that when water starts to run from the taps, the u bend under the sinks and basins is also frozen,so don't let the taps run too long. Good luck and hope you keep dry.

    Source(s): Registered Plumber (40 years)
  • 1 decade ago

    Unfortunately Nosdda is wrong about the water and its one of the few liquids that expands when it freezes due to the way it crystallizes when it freezes, Your boiler should still work for the heating side

    to keep the house warm and I would suspect that the pipes are frozen outside the house and not inside unless of course the heating has been off long enough. As you have a combi there shouldnt be any pipes in the loft to freeze so if its in the house start from your stop tap, is there a drain **** right above it (there should be if its not been there donkeys years)try opening that slowly with a container under it and you should get water out of it(if necessary turn off the stop tap and remove the plug completely as sometimes the washer sticks inside) and then open the stop tap slowly and see if water comes out and if it doesnt it frozen outside, if it does then you need to warm things up. Put the drain **** back together and hope.

  • 4 years ago

    There are lots of things that could be wrong. It could be your landlord not wanting you to use so much water. It could be a bad valve coming into the house. It could be pressure or lines coming into the house. It could be old piping in the house. It could be clogged strainers in the fixtures in the house. Start with the simple things you can do. Look at the strainers screwed to the spouts in your sinks. If you open them up and they are clogged they you will have to do the same for the shower. This may provide some relief. They clog whenever water is turned off and then on again because debris in the lines moves to the strainers. In many shower heads there is a flow restrictor. Sometimes it can be removed to give more flow. You have to unscrew the shower head and if it can be removed it looks like a disk with a small hole in the middle. If you can see the piping and it is copper, brass, or plastic (pex) then you will not have clogged lines but if the lines are zinc coated (galvanized) it is likely that the supply lines are reduced in diameter on the inside substantially reducing the water flow. Increasing pressure may help the flow but you may not have this option. The usual fix is to replace galvanized pipes. Your water may be supplied in several ways gravity flow from a tank outside is fairly outmoded now. Usually the water is supplied by pressure from a well through a pump, a regulator, and pressure tank, through municipal supply at high pressure that goes through a pressure regulator to be reduced in your home, or through municipal supply without any pressure regulator. You house supply should be delivered at 40 to 60 psi. You could check this with a pressure gage attached to a fitting to your outside hose connection or an inside system drain. Several of the incoming pressure issues might be resolved by the municipality and if you discover that your pressure is substandard then you might give them a call. In my area there are no municipal regulators. The system is old in an East coast large city and I have seen incoming pressure as low as 10 psi. in some areas. Even when they say the standard is 30psi this is often not enough to reach 3ed floor showers. The fix is to install a pressure pump to increase pressure. But sometimes the problem is that the supply line from the city pipes to the house is bad and needs to be replaced. The pump is a way to work around this that is sometimes less costly. Sometimes the house supply line is replaced and increased in size. If the incoming water has a regulator then this or even the incoming valve could be bad. Many incoming valves are known as "gate valves" and these have a tendency to jam in the closed or open position. It would take a plumber to diagnose and repair the problem. The last type of incoming water supply is from well water. That is where you have a pressure tank in the basement and a pump and a regulator. As you said you were in a City and the the problem was with them I will leave this discussion aside for another question.

  • 1 decade ago

    use electric heaters or old fashioned light bulbs positioned so the heat will rise to the problem area of your pipe. you may want to buy a brooder farm lamp reflector with a 250 watt heat lamp. if that is exposed to weather try a 100 watt outdoor halogen floodlight or spotlight. wherever the wind chill can reach an uninsulated pipe is where the problem can start. if permitted, a truck mounted arc welder operator can thaw a frozen water line electrically. trickling the water all winter may be an expensive preventive. here in buffalo ny the frost line of winter can affect pipes that are not properly deep enough in the earth. a good plumber will find your problem, and money must be spent to prevent the recurrence. it is possible to purchase fresh water from your next door neighbor by connecting sanitary water hose from your hose **** to the neighbor's. here we would use a white hose approved for drinking water. look in the recreational vehicle section of Walmart automotive department. you must keep that hose from freezing as well.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You could try a hair dryer to thaw out the pipes if the freezing isn't too severe, first open the taps so that when you do thaw it out, the running water will release and melt the rest of the ice in the pipes, then leave them dripping so they don't freeze.

    Try heating an area with a space heater, for example, putting a heater in a craw space, or wherever exposed pipes are.

  • billy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    A vacuum cleaner will blow warm air if you have one and you can direct the warm air to the area of the walls or under the floor where the pipes are frozen, its safe too, not hot enough to cause fire.

  • 1 decade ago

    Have heard of folks wrapping area of pipe with heating pads and or electric blanket to stop or prevent freezing.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    A hairdryer on an extension lead, always works. Afterwards wrap them in bubble wrap, or brown paper, or a blanket.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    As Honsell Tsays,

    If there are exposed pipes outside, you will need to lag them so they don't freeze again.

    Like this http://www.wickes.co.uk/Pipe-Insulation/invt/21001...

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