Frozen pipes

What to do if the water in your pipes freeze. 

Be gentle with a frozen pipes to prevent them becoming burst pipes. When water freezes it expands and can cause the pipe to burst (especially if the pipes aren't protected), so you might not realise that the pipe has burst until the ice inside it melts. 

If you have no water and think this is due to a frozen pipe, check to see if there are any signs of the pipe splitting or other damage and if you find anything, call a plumber. Take a look at WaterSafe to find an approved plumber working in your area.

1. Turn off the water supply

Turn off the main stop tap – it should be in the cupboard under the kitchen sink or where the service pipe comes into your home. A frozen pipe will stop you being able to drain your cold water system but you can turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank, if you have one. You’ll usually find the tank in your loft or attic.

2. Be prepared

While the pipe is still frozen you have time to protect everything around it from water damage in case the pipe leaks when it is thawed out.

3. Thawing out

Open the tap nearest to the part of the pipe you think is frozen so the water can flow out when the ice has melted. Thaw the pipe with a hot water bottle or hairdryer (taking care to keep the dryer well away from any water), beginning from the tap end and working back toward the cold water tank. Never use a heat gun or blow torch.

If your pipes are damaged due to freezing, you may want to check if you already have an existing policy with HomeServe by calling 0800 2047999. They will be able to repair any broken pipes once they have thawed.