Frozen Pipe

Picturesque as it may be, the white blanket of frost which greeted us early this morning is the first sign of the imminent chilly winter months ahead.  It is now time to take a few simple steps to protect the water supply to your home or business from the wrath of Jack Frost!

Frozen Pipes

Most of us were affected by frozen water pipes during the plummeting temperatures of last winter and since then, many measures have been put in place to protect us against a repeat of this most inconvenient event.  However, almost a year has passed and it is now time to re-visit the issue to ensure we are not left high and dry once again. Start with the issues you have control of inside your own home.

Firstly, the water tank in your attic – insulate your tank with a simple lagging jacket (PDF File) designed especially for attic water tanks . This will ensure your attic tank is protected against the dropping temperatures within your attic & roof space during the sub-zero winter nights.

Secondly, have a look at the pipe-work underneath your kitchen sink – see where it enters your home.  Generally, even the lowest level of heating inside the house will ensure these pipes will remain frost free.  However, if the pipes are not properly insulated outside the house at this point, frost can develop here and travel from the exposed area, along the inside of the pipework and up into the house.  Check to see if there is any amount of water pipe exposed at this point directly outside the house.  If you discover any water-supply pipework that is not lagged or completely covered under the ground here, then it will need to be immediately lagged with suitable Pipe Insulation – speak with your local hardware provider who will advise you as to the most appropriate and cost effective method available.

Water Softners

Ideally however, all water supply pipes leading to your house should be buried a min. of 600 – 800mm underground to protect from the effects of severe frost. Water Softener systems are another vulnerable item susceptible to the effects of frost.  Many of us have a water softener installed either inside our home or in our garage/ garden shed.  The concern here is the same as the water-supply pipe issue raised above.  If the softener is located outside the house, check to make sure all pipework leading into and out of the softener system itself is completely lagged if not already buried underground.

Again, you need to watch were the pipe-work enters the house – this is its most vulnerable point and the area where frost can develop.  Once one small section of pipework becomes frozen, and if the temperatures remain below zero, the frost travels on through the pipes in both directions and can often crack the pipes and the housing of the softener itself.  Protect yourself against the added expense of having to repair or replace your system by ensuring all pipework is fully insulated.  An additional step which can be taken is to place a standard lagging jacket (the same as the one fitted on many hot-press cylinder water tanks) around the main housing of the softener itself.  This will further protect the water softener from the wrath of Jack Frost.

Frost Watcher

Also, if you have a private water supply to your house, then the pump-house and the water pump itself need to be protected.  The same measures mentioned above for the water softener system apply here.  In addition, Cantwell Quality Water Services Ltd. supply a device known as a “Frost Watcher”.  These devices vary in capabilities and set-up.  They are generally fitted in a pump-house and can be set to activate once the temperature drops below a certain level or they can be operated manually.  This is another measure which can be taken to help prevent the extensive damage caused by severe frost.

Frost Watcher

Frost Watcher

Please contact us on +353 (0)56 8834198 for assistance or advice on any of the above mentioned methods of frost prevention.  And remember, prevention is better than cure!