Winter is an extremely harsh time of the year. Short days and long frosty nights make this time of year uncomfortable for the most. That being said it’s not just us that find this time of the year so harsh, winter is hugely demanding on our drainage systems as well, and without the correct preparation, you may find that you’re dealing with a range of drainage problems. 


The average temperature at this time of the year sits at between 2-7 degrees Celsius but every now and then it plummets below zero degrees covering our surroundings with a white blanket of ice. When the temperature drops this low you are at an extremely high risk of ice forming within your drainage systems which can lead to frozen pipes. 


In this article, we will be discussing this issue in more detail whilst providing you with a step by step guide to help get this resolved as soon as possible. 


What Is A Frozen Drain Pipe? 


A frozen pipe is a name that describes the freezing of water within your pipes and drainage systems. Often taking place in a pipe that runs to the exterior of your property, the cold winter temperatures lead to ice forming within the drainage system which expands to block the entire pipe and prevent any more water from being able to pass through. 


How Does A Drain Pipe Freeze?


Most pipes within your property will hold water around the clock. Even a system such as your kitchen tap will store water in the pipes even if you have not used the tap in a while. This means that when the surrounding temperatures drop the water in the pipes can freeze, leading to the entire pipe becoming frozen. 


The Solution To A Frozen Drain Pipe


Fixing a frozen pipe should be relatively simple as long as there is easy access to the exterior of the pipe. If you can’t access the pipe, we recommend that you get in contact with a professional. Below is our step by step guide to resolving a frozen drainpipe: 


  1. Turn on the taps – By attempting to draw water from the system you may help to release some pressure that may have built up within the system. 


  1. Switch the heating – By cranking up the heat with your property on and bringing it up to a high temperature this may help to start to melt the frozen water within your pipe system. 


  1. Directly heating the frozen pipe – Track down the part of your pipe which has become frozen and directly heat this section of pipe. This can be done by applying warm clothes to the pipe or using a hairdryer


After following these steps you may find that the pipe has started to thaw, this means you should be able to repeat these three steps until the pipe is completely fixed. If you are not able to locate the frozen pipe or you are not getting any success it’s recommended that you get in contact with a professional. 


How To Prevent This From Happening Again? 


As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Although we can’t stop the weather from dropping to freezing temperatures we can take some precautions to prevent the pipe from becoming frozen. In the following section we cover some of the best ways to prevent frozen pipes from occurring: 


  1. Insulating your pipes – By wrapping your pipes in additional insulation you help to project the water inside of them from the cold weather outside.


  1. Keep your home warm – by leaving your heating on at a consistent temperature you can reduce the chance of your pipes freezing overnight when your heating may usually go off.


  1. Frequently test your taps – By consistently checking your taps you are helping to create flow within the systems which prevents freezing from occurring. 


  1. Draining your systems – If you planning to go away for a prolonged period it’s recommended that you drain your system of any excess water. 


By following these simple prevention techniques you can significantly reduce the risk of your pipes freezing. There are some very simple video guides for all of these prevention techniques so if you are having any issues implementing them please use these resources. 


Frozen Drain Pipe Article Summary


If you require any further assistance resolving your frozen pipes please feel free to get in touch with the team here at Total Drainage Services. We have experience dealing with a range of frozen drainpipe sensations including burst pipes and difficult to locate pipe issues.