Frozen Pipes Cause Big Trouble For Home Owners

The cold winter of 2015 has seen a larger than usual number of homes flooded by frozen water pipes.

With temperatures falling well below zero, water pipes in some ceilings have frozen, causing joints to crack due to expansion of ice in the pipes.  When the ice melts the water flows again – into the ceiling space.

It’s just like running a hose into your ceiling and turning the tap on.  And then going away for the weekend.

A large proportion of the affected homes have been vacant.  Perhaps the heating has been turned off while the occupants are away for the weekend.  Maybe the water is more likely to freeze if the taps haven’t been used for a few days.

The fact that no-one is at home when the pipe breaks means that the water can be running for days before it is discovered.

In these cases, the damage can be quite extensive.  Ruined plaster and insulation and damaged light fittings, carpet, kitchen appliances, cupboards and furniture and more.

Imagine coming home from your weekend away to find the bedroom ceiling collapsed and a pile of sodden plaster and insulation soaking on top of your bed.



So How Can You Avoid This Disaster?

The best way to avoid a problem is to fit insulation to the bare copper pipes in your ceiling space.  The insulation is available as a foam tube that can be cut and slipped over existing pipes.  It’s quite cheap and readily available at plumbing supply stores.

Most burst pipes seem to occur when the house in unoccupied so if you are only going to be away for a couple of days consider leaving some heating on, rather than turning everything off.  Set your thermostat or timers to run you heater or heat pump just enough to keep the ceiling space above freezing.

If you are going away for the winter and the house will be empty, consider turning off the water at the mains, so that if a pipe were to burst, there will be very little water damage as a result.

If the worst does happen, turn off the water mains, turn off the power at your main switch and phone your insurance company.  They will organise the appropriate trades to attend and begin the process of repairs as required.

For emergency response to flooded ceilings in Launceston and surrounding areas phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711.

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