Don’t Be Left Without Water This Year After a Big Thaw or Deep Freeze

Each year, the winter seems to bring more unpleasant surprises in terms of extreme freezes and thaws. Maintaining pipes in the home helps protect some customers from losing water when they need it the most. Many home heating systems also rely on water, making extreme temperatures a multiple danger.

Several water companies last winter had to deal with pipes bursting in multiple places. For example, after Storm Emma, 12,000 homes had no running water due to a deep freeze across the UK. Namely, the Thames Water, South East Water, Southern Water and Affinity Water utilities told consumers who still had running water to use it sparingly. Measures included taking short showers rather than long baths, ensuring taps were completely shut and running washing machines and dishwashers only with a full load.

Preventive Measures Include Checking Your Boiler

Before winter weather brings similar extremes this year, consumers are urged to check their boilers. According to plumbing and heating experts at AllStar Systems, if customers are afraid their pipes have frozen, they should run through this checklist. If the answer is yes to all three, check your boiler or call the experts who can give the best information.

1. Are outside temperatures below freezing?
2. Does the boiler display an EA fault code, a D5 code or is there a flashing blue light?
3. 3. Do you have a Greenstar gas boiler or a 26 CDi?

If all three statements are true, it’s time to reset the boiler. To do so, hold down the reset button ten seconds (it’s on the boiler control panel). If the boiler fails to re-fire or is gurgling, the condensing pipe is most likely frozen.

Big Thaws Also a Problem

The barrage of snow that hit the UK late last year was just as troublesome when it melted. A sudden thaw and partially frozen pipes are a recipe for disaster. Be as prepared as possible this year by getting your pipes and boiler inspected sooner rather than later. Repercussions for not being prepared are dire and immediate. It took some residents months to get their water service restored.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.