Bad Weather Advice
When we have bad weather, we often receive a lot of calls reporting problems so it may take you a while to get through to us. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to stay safe and warm.
Preparing pipes for freezing weather
- Stop your condense boiler freezing up by checking the white condense pipe outside your home (if it is accessible to you) is clear of debris, such as leaves. This can slow down the condense water causing it to freeze.
- In extreme cold, leave your heating running on low at all times. This will give a constant flow of condense water.
- Make sure all visible pipes have insulation placed around them.
- If pipe work is run internal to a bath or sink waste, try to keep these areas free from possible blockages, such as hair or food.
- Dripping taps are one of the major causes of problems with piping in winter as they freeze easily, eventually leading to blocked pipes. Get them fixed.
- If your heating stops working or you have no hot water, your condense boiler may have frozen.
- Signs which may suggest your boiler has frozen are:
- the blue power light starts flashing very quickly.
- the boiler is making a bubbling noise.
- there is a leak coming from the pipework.
- If the white condense pipe is frozen, pour on hot water (not boiling!) or apply alternative heat, such as a hot water bottle, and remove any surrounding snow. The same techniques can be used to defrost internal pipes that are frozen. (Please note, this strictly applies to the white pipe that is underneath the boiler. Under no circumstances should any other pipe work be tampered with.)
- For condensing boilers, once thawed, the boiler must be reset. This can be done by holding the reset button in for 10 seconds and then waiting 2 to 3 minutes for the boiler to refire.
- For guidance, check out our video tutorial.
If you notice a leaking pipe or if your pipes burst, please contact us as soon as possible and take these steps to prevent the water causing too much damage:
- Turn off the water supply.
- Drain your system to get as much water out of the system as possible and prevent water from spilling through your home.
- Turn on all cold water taps and flush your toilet.
- Turn off your heating system and close down the boiler. Remember to turn off immersion heaters.
- Drain the system by turning on all hot water taps.
- Switch off the electrics if a burst pipe is near any electrical switches or fuse boxes.
- Collect the water in buckets and pans.
- If ceilings start to bulge, stand well back and use a long-handled implement to release the water into a large bucket.
- Flood water can be dangerous as depths and current is difficult to judge. Check to make sure all disabled, elderly and young family members and pets are safe.
- If you are in danger and cannot exit your property please call the emergency services on 999.
- Keep all doors and windows closed – use sandbags if available to protect door entrances and air bricks.
- In the event of flooding, under no circumstances use electric or gas appliances and turn off at the mains if possible. If you smell gas call National Grid immediately on 0800 111 999.
- Do not allow children and family members to walk or swim in groundwater as it contains disease, excrement and the contents of the sewers below.
- Groundwater flooding will usually clear within a short space of time. This is when any water penetration damage or repairs can be reported to us.
- Beware of bogus callers taking advantage of the situation. All our staff and Environment Agency staff carry identification cards – please ask to see them.
- If you have home insurance, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Get their approval before arranging any clean-up or repairs.
- If you have been flooded by a burst water main or sewer from the road contact Severn Trent Water on 0800 783 4444.
- Keep up to date with the latest flooding information by calling the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or by visiting the Environment Agency website.
- If your roof leaks and water enters your property, place a bucket or pan underneath the leak and report the problem to us. Please make sure the bucket or pan is empty every time you leave the house.
- If water enters your home use a mop and bucket to remove as much as possible. Under no circumstances use any electrical sockets affected by water and allow all areas affected to dry out thoroughly. Report any water damage to us.
- Find out if you’re at risk from groundwater flooding now or in the next few days. https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding#.
Contents insurance provides a 'financial safety net', if your items are damaged through flood, fire or accident.
How to unfreeze your boiler condensate pipe
If your condensate pipe from your boiler has frozen in the cold weather, you may find that your boiler stops working. The good news is that there is a quick and easy step you can take at home to help defrost the pipe and get the boiler back up and running. Please have a look at the below video to find out more. This video is for guidance only.
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 December 2019 15:33