Winter Tips and Advice

With the winter weather already upon us, we have a number of tips and advice to share with you to help you stay warm and safe through the winter months, including personal safety, gas safety and fire safety.

The cold weather can affect your home and the most common problems can be loss of water supply, loss of heating, leaking toilets and sinks not draining - this is often because of frozen pipes. This should rectify itself as the weather warms slightly however you can speed this process up yourself.

If you know where your stop tap is, empty the cupboard that the tap is in and try to get some warm air circulating around the pipe. You could try blowing warm air on the pipe using a hairdryer or situate a small heater in front of the cupboard. After a few minutes you should find that the water starts to defrost. Please do not leave any heated appliance unattended during this process.

Often the condensate pipe on your boiler freezes, this is the pipe from your boiler which leads to an outside drain.

How do I thaw the frozen (condensate) pipe from my boiler?

  • Use hot water – not boiling – heated by a kettle or a microwave and pour over the end of the pipe where it is frozen using a suitable container like a watering can.
  • Hold a hot water bottle or heat wrap around the condensate pipe.
  • Once the pipe has thawed you should re-set your boiler by holding in the re-set button for 10 seconds and wait for the boiler to re-fire.

If your toilet or sink is not draining this is likely not a blockage that can be rectified by a plumber. Before reporting this as a repair try pouring some hot water down as this may defrost the frozen water in the pipes.

Leaving your heating on a low setting throughout the night will help to stop any pipes freezing. More advice and how to protect your home can be found on the United Utilities website.

Illegal Money Lenders are known to prey on people in financial difficulties, particularly during the festive period. Our Money Advisors are available to offer help and advice if you or someone you know is experiencing financial difficulties. You can also find information and advice about doorstep crimes such as bogus callers on the Greater Manchester Police website.