Don’t fall for these five winter plumbing myths
We all love the idea of fluffy snow, cosy jumpers and hot chocolate – winter can be truly magical. But winter also means rising household bills, unexpected breakdowns and tighter budget.
Naturally, once the winter is here, we automatically go in budget-saving mode, researching ways to save precious pounds on gas, water and electricity. While the internet is full of ideas and tips, we have to warn you – sometimes these winter plumbing myths can do your household and wallet more harm than good.
Make sure to not fall for these five winter plumbing myths:
1. Thawing frozen pipes with open flame.
Surely the logical reaction when you see ice covering a surface that it should certainly not be covering, is to expose it to heat. While this line of thinking is correct, be careful how you approach the situation. Trying to melt the ice with an open flame can damage the pipe, and cause substantial flooding to your house. Instead, thaw the pipe by wrapping it in warm cloth, or using hot (but not boiling) water. If you’re still not willing to risk it, call a certified plumber.
2. Leave your tap dripping, to avoid frozen pipes.
If the faucet is fed by an external pipe, leaving it dripping can indeed release some of the pressure, and prevent the water from freezing in the pipe. However, a constantly dripping tap, which you have no control over can be a sign of an underlying problem, which should not be ignored.
3. You should choose plastic pipes, they’re less likely to freeze.
One of the most popular winter plumbing myths is that metal pipes are more likely to freeze, compared to plastic ones. In reality, the reasons pipes freeze is because they’re storing pressurised water, they’re relatively small in diameter, and, of course, because temperatures drop. In other words, it is the water supply pipes that are likely to freeze, and they’re also the ones, usually made of materials such as iron, copper, or steel.
4. You’ll save up, if you turn the heating off when you’re going away.
It does make sense that you’ll save up on your heating bills if you’re not using the heating. In the same time, if you go on a winter holiday, and the temperatures happen to drop overnight the water in your pipes could freeze and cause a much more expensive problem. A much more reasonable idea is to leave your heating on low while away.
5. DIY plumbing is not a big deal.
If you already have some experience and knowledge of plumbing systems then small plumbing jobs might be fine to complete on your own. But if you’re a complete DIY novice, definitely don’t start your journey with a plumbing project. Even what seems like a small, easy fix can be hiding a bigger issue, which is capable of causing expensive damage in the space of a few minutes. It’s not worth the risk, especially if you have our Plumbing and Drainage cover, and can always call a professional.