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Preventing burst pipes

The cost and inconvenience caused by a burst pipe can be considerable. Just a small fracture can release gallons of water, damaging masonry and plaster, carpets and other contents. To avoid burst pipes and home insurance claims there are several steps you can take.
  • How to prevent burst pipes

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    Make sure the boiler and heating system is serviced regularly and check that the thermostat is working correctly  

    Check the insulation on your water pipes and cold water tank - those in an attic or other vulnerable spaces should be lagged or similarly protected   

    Make sure any external taps are turned off and disconnect any hoses  

    Keep your heating on throughout the winter months. 

  • What to do if you discover a frozen pipe

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    Fixing frozen pipes in particular can be costly as a claim caused by pipes bursting due to freezing is on average much more expensive than other escape of water claims.  

    If you discover a frozen pipe, don’t wait for it to burst. Turn off your water supply and then slowly thaw the affected pipe by introducing gentle heat to the area, such as with a hairdryer, heater or hot water bottle. 

    Do not attempt to thaw the pipe with a blow torch or other open flame.
  • How to stop a burst pipe

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    If a pipe does burst, the first and most important thing to is to turn off your water to prevent further damage.  

    Turn off the water supply at the stopcock, open taps in the property to safely release water from the system to drains, and try to catch any excess water in a bucket or other container. Do not use any electrics if you believe these may have been affected by the escaping water. You will need to get the electrics checked by a qualified and competent electrician for safety reasons. 

    Devices are available which can detect excessive water flow and either send a warning or automatically turn off the water. Leak detection systems  are also available, which send a warning to a designated person enabling them to take appropriate action and hopefully mitigate any damage. 

Cold weather and burst pipes 

Take a look at our infographic for some facts and top tips.

burst pipe infographic

Empty property Escape of water Stopcock
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.