Households should follow these simple steps NOW to avoid shock repair bills and burst pipe disasters

IRISH Water is asking households and businesses to follow these simple tips to avoid pipe damage in freezing weather.

Sub-zero temperatures often lead to an increased incidence of pipe bursts, with small leaks often going undetected for weeks.


Sub-zero temperatures often lead to a higher incidence of burst pipesPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor


Damage can result in expensive repair bills and water supply disruptionsPhoto credit: Rubberball-Getty

Damage can result in expensive repair bills, water supply disruptions and burst pipes.

To avoid this, Irish Water operations manager Tom Cuddy spoke about the simple steps both home and business owners can take to winterize their premises in the coming months.

He said: “With temperatures often falling below zero at this time of year, we are appealing to households, businesses and those responsible for unoccupied buildings to check for leaks whilst complying with current regulations and public health advice and turning off the water where it is.” it is not needed.

“We also urge customers to check outdoor lines in particular, which can freeze and burst in cold weather, and to report leaks in the public grid to us.

“Small efforts by everyone to save water wherever possible makes a big difference and we would like to ask the public to use only what they need and continue to follow public health recommendations on hand washing and hygiene in relation to to keep Covid-19.”

He added that conservation advice includes showering over bathtubs and fixing dripping faucets where possible.

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If you have basic plumbing knowledge, these tips will help you locate and thaw a frozen pipe. If you are not sure what to do, contact a registered installer.

If you have a frozen pipe, you should find and close your internal shut-off valve, which is usually located under the kitchen sink.

Turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank, which is usually found in the attic.

Check the water pressure in devices like faucets and toilets to see if it’s lower than usual.

Locate the general area where you suspect a frozen pipe is located, then look for visible pipes that aren’t insulated, pipes that feel much colder than others, and those that have nearby drafts or damage exhibit.

Then turn on nearby cold faucets to relieve pressure on the frozen line, but Irish Water reminds the public to NEVER turn on the hot faucets.


If there are no cracks or breaks in the pipe and fittings, you can try to gently thaw the pipe.

Irish Water says you should start by protecting or moving anything that could be damaged if the pipe bursts during thawing.

Then use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to gently heat the whistle, starting at the faucet end.

You can also try to thaw frozen pipes by turning on your immersion bath, central heating, and even a blowtorch.


A burst pipe can cause serious damage to your home, so it’s important to take action as soon as possible to limit the damage.

Shut off the water supply as above and drain the system by opening all cold water taps and flushing the toilets.

Turn off central heating and immersion, and if you use solid fuels, you can let them die out.

Once the water heating is completely turned off, turn on the hot water faucets to further drain the system.

If water is leaking from a burst pipe near an outlet, switch, or appliance, turn off the power supply if it is safe to do so.

If the switch is wet, do not touch it. Instead, call a qualified electrician.

If you have a shared water supply, e.g. B. If you live in an apartment building, make sure you have access to the shut-off valve. This is usually where the water supply enters the building and check with your neighbors that turning off the water has not affected their supply.


You can temporarily fix a burst pipe by tying it up with a cloth or tape.

However, you should replace this with a permanent repair performed by a qualified and registered installer as soon as possible.

Always make sure your hot water system is refilled before turning your immersion or boiler back on.


It’s also important to conserve water wherever possible.

To do this, make sure your home is leakproof by checking for running overflows and fixing leaky faucets or pipes.

Brushing your teeth with the tap running can use up to 6 liters per minute. Brushing your teeth without a tap uses a more modest 1 liter of water.

Another step you can take is to swap out your bath for a shower. An average bath uses 80 liters of water compared to an average shower, which uses 49 liters in seven minutes.

With an average shower using 7 liters of water per minute, you can save up to 7 liters of water per day by turning your five-minute shower into four minutes.

A modern washing machine uses about 65 liters of water per cycle, while a dishwasher uses 20 liters. By making sure they are fully charged, you not only save on water but also on your energy bills