As the temperature drops and the dark nights are here, there are many things you can do so that your house doesn't get caught out in the cold. Your home needs a little bit of TLC during the winter to ensure you don't run into any problems.
The most common problems can be a loss of water supply, heating issues, leaking toilets and sinks not draining - which is often because of frozen pipes. Follow these simple tips to help keep your home in top condition:
- If you have a pre-payment (token) meter, check that it hasn't run out of credit.
- Turn your thermostat up to maximum. If your heating starts to work you can turn the thermostat back down to the temperature you want.
- Check that all the radiator valves are turned up.
- Check that your timer is switched on.
- If you know where your stop tap is, empty the cupboard and allow some warm air to circulate around the pipe. Try blowing warm air on the pipe using a hairdryer or place a small heater in front of the cupboard. After a few minutes you should find that the water starts to defrost. You should not leave any heated appliances unattended whilst doing this.
- You might find that the condensate pipe on your boiler has frozen - the pipe from your boiler which leads to an outside drain. Try these methods to thaw the frozen condensate pipe.
- Use hot water (not boiling) and pour over the end of the pipe where it is frozen using a suitable container like a watering can.
- Hold a hot water bottle or heat wrap around the condensate pipe.
- Once the pipe was thawed you should re-set your boiler. Hold the re-set button for 10 seconds and wait for the boiler to re-fire.
- If your toilet or sink is not draining, it probably isn't a blockage that can be fixed by a plumber. Before reporting this as a repair, pour some hot water down as this may defrost the frozen water in the pipes.
- Leave your heating on a low setting during the night to stop pipes freezing.
- Check if your boiler is displaying any fault codes.