Freezing Temperatures may last until February 2013

Snow, ice and freezing temperatures could last for more than two months as forecasters predict that the winter ‘whiteout’ could last until the end of February. The Cabinet Office, councils and highway chiefs have been briefed that the risk of snow is worse than a year ago and a three million tonne salt stockpile has been amassed to prevent travel disruption. “Probabilities favour temperatures below average for December to February, with a shift towards colder-than-average values increasing the probability of well below average temperatures.” The Met Office....

Preparing your home for a sudden freeze

Preparing your home for a sudden freeze Before the temperature drops below zero and winter hits us, a quick check on the following can save you time and money. 1) Make sure pipes are lagged All visible pipes, particularly exposed pipes in crawl spaces in the attic, should be lagged with pre-formed foam (the type that wraps around the pipes) available from plumbers’ merchants and DIY stores. Remember, the thicker the lagging, the better: a minimum of 50mm in diameter but preferably 75mm. When insulating bends and tricky-to-reach pipes use gaffa tape to fix it securely. 2) Make sure your tank is insulated The best option is a preformed jacket that hugs the tank (a bit like the Puffa jackets from the 80s!) They’re filled with glass fibre matting and attach securely to the tank – this is important as you don’t want it to dislodge. With the exception of a header tank in the loft which should be completely enclosed, there should be no insulation beneath your tank as this will prevent warm air rising from below, increasing the likelihood of it freezing. 3) Repair dripping taps If you have any dripping taps replace the washers. If dripping taps freeze they’ll block your pipe and cause damage. How to deal with a frozen pipe You’ll know if you have a frozen pipe because one or more of your taps won’t work but before you start on your frozen pipe action plan it’s worth first checking with the neighbours that they have water – if they don’t it’s likely there’s a problem with local supply. Assuming you do have...

Why is Leak Mate for the Plumber Electrician Joiner Builder Decorator and DIY Enthusiast?

Why is Leak Mate for the Plumber, Electrician, Joiner, Builder, Decorator and DIY Enthusiast? Let’s picture it, you have put a heating system in and filled it up cold, you fire up the boiler and the system is getting hot with rising pressure and temperature, a fitting starts leaking, The time it takes to drain the system down, is enough time to cause damage to the customer’s home, you put a bowl under the pipe to catch the water only to find you can’t get it out again, it’s messy and worrying and the last thing one wants is an insurance claim, or to reduce your bill because of damage caused by the leak.  Leak Mate is a unique reusable tool that will stop leaks in seconds allowing time to safely drain the system. The tool is supplied with reusable 10 15 & 22mm seals that have a recessed step moulded in every seal to fit copper fittings.Leak Mate also seals split pipes and holed pipes whether plastic or copper up to 10 Bar. The product has been field tested by a plumbing company over the last 2 yrs.Leak Mate is an essential tool for all Tradesmen and homeowners as a temporary fix allowing minimum disruption. The Leak will need to be fixed at a more convenient time by a qualified plumber. There is no comparable product currently available in the market place. The Leak Mate Tool provides a quick easy solution to a variety of sizes of leaking pipe and fittings and the tool is re-usable time and time...

Prepare Your Home for Winter

Although periods of extreme cold cannot always be predicted far in advance, weather forecasts can sometimes provide you with several days’ notice. Listen to weather forecasts regularly, and check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme cold is predicted. If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year. Ask your local fire department to recommend an inspector, or find one in the yellow pages of your telephone directory under “chimney cleaning.” Also, if you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly, and replace batteries twice yearly. Your ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and older people are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. If you are over 65 years old, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently, and check the temperature of your home often during the winter months. Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. To the extent possible, weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors and storm windows, or thermal-pane windows. If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure that they have access to unfrozen...

After the cold spell: Fixing copper pipe leaks

The recent cold weather has caused a lot of pipes to burst and these problems only became apparent once the thaw set in. Not only have the mains water supplies been affected by reductions in pressure from leaks, but a lot of buildings owners discovered leaks inside their properties. During the Christmas break I helped to fix some copper piping which was leaking. It was the first time I have done this, my Father in law showed me how; it was a straight forward task and is something most people could attempt. I have listed how to carry out the repair below in case it may be of use to someone. The particular house wasunoccupied during the cold weather with the water turned off. But when the water was turned on again after the thaw, there were four leaks from burst pipes. The burst pipes was the copper water piping for the central heating. See photographs below. We fixed the leaks by: Turning off the water. Cutting the pipe either side of the leak with a pipe cutter, this cutter also shaped the end of the pipe ready for the new connection. Cutting a new section of copper pipe from a long piece bought in the local hardware shop. Fitting the valve connector to link the new sections together. We used white tape on the threads to help water tightness. Only valve connectors were available as the standard (non-valve) connectors were sold out. We turned the water on again and checked the connection for leaks. Tools required: Copper pipe of same diameter as damaged section, pipe cutter/ shaper, two spanners, white...