AA tackles frozen pipes

AA hopes its advice will save householders from frozen pipes and the firm from a flood of claims

Thu, Nov 21, 2013, 01:00

In a gesture of seasonal altruism – and self-care – insurer AA is offering anti-pipe-freeze advice and is persuading homeowners to insulate their pipes.

The big freeze in 2010 led to more than 19,000 insurance claims while burst-pipe claims ran to €173.1 million.

Water expands when it freezes hence pipes cracking under the pressure.

“The damage can be wide-ranging; from destroyed couches and carpets to rotting walls,” says Conor Faughnan of The AA.

So, what to do?
- Insulate all water pipes, including exposed ones outside.
- Fix dripping taps with a new washer.
- Locate the main water shut off in case you need it.
- If you’re going to be away for a few days in freezing weather, it would be a good idea to turn off the water at the mains and drain pipes.
- Time heating to come on in short spurts during the day.
And if the pipes freeze?
-Turn off the main stop tap: this is usually under the sink or where the service pipe enters your home.
- If you have a stopcock in your cold-water tank, turn it off. It’s usually in the attic.
- Move belongings away from the frozen pipe in case it bursts.
- And, finally, thaw the ice in the pipe with hot water bottles.

Ah, sweet.

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