What to do in the event of frozen and burst pipes in freezing temperatures, and guidance for making a claim:

When temperatures drop below freezing for a sustained period of time, the pipes at our homes and businesses are at risk of freezing unless protected or suitably lagged. The frozen pipe expands and can crack or burst under pressure. This is often not identified until the thaw sets in. Below are some helpful tips on what to do in the event of burst pipes.

Dealing with frozen pipes:

  • Turn off the water supply – Turning it off is the first thing you need to do if you detect a frozen pipe as it will minimise any water damage if a pipe does burst. Contact a plumber for assistance.
  • Protect your possessions – Move any portable possessions away from the affected areas to prevent further damage and cover your electricity mains box if the pipe is close.
  • Find the frozen pipe – Check the flow of water in areas like the bathroom, kitchen, shower rooms and downstairs toilets. Zero, or very little flow, indicates you’re near the frozen area of piping. A frozen pipe will often appear distorted.
  • Thaw out the pipe – Use a hairdryer or hot water bottle to help thaw out the pipe, never use a blowtorch or anything similar. Open any taps nearest to the frozen pipe as this will let the water melt.

Dealing with burst pipes:

  • Turn off the water supply.
  • Drain your system – You will need to get as much water out of the system as possible to prevent water from spilling through the house. Start by turning on all cold water taps and flushing toilets.
  • Turn off your heating system – You need to turn off the central heating and close down the boiler. Remember to turn off immersion heaters. Once you’ve done this, drain the system further by turning on all hot water taps.
  • Switch off the electrics if necessary – If a burst pipe is near any electrical switches or fuse boxes, turn the electrics off at the mains.
  • Collect the water – Use buckets, pans and any large containers to collect the water. If ceilings start to bulge, stand well back, use a long-handled implement to release the water. Take photos throughout.
  • Contact your dedicated Thomas Carroll Claims Executive or call 02920 853788 for assistance. In an emergency, please refer to your policy documents for guidance.
  • Record the damage – Record as much evidence as possible of the damage for use in an insurance claim. Photos are the best record you can make, but also make notes of the damage and the circumstances behind how it happened.
  • Get the leak fixed – Use a recommended plumber. Keep all receipts and details of work carried out as some aspects of this may be covered by your Policy.