If some of your pipes are frozen, try to warm up the air around them without using the central heating. But before you do, find your home's stop tap and make sure you can close it if you need to.

1. Find the internal stop tap for your home.

You need to be able to turn off your water if a pipe bursts or starts leaking when it thaws out. The internal stop tap (also called a stopcock or stop valve) is usually near the place where water comes into your home. Check the most common places first:

  • Under the kitchen sink
  • In your kitchen cupboards
  • Under the stairs
  • Near your front and back doors
  • In the garage

2. Don't use the hot taps anywhere in your house.

3. Switch off the immersion heater in your hot water hot water cylinder, if you have one.

4. Warm up the air around your frozen pipes.

Don't use your gas central heating to do this, and don't use a blow torch or anything similar. The frozen pipe needs to be heated slowly and gently. Turn on your gas fire or other heating appliances. If the frozen pipe is in an attic or cupboard, open the doors to let warmer air reach the pipes. You can also wrap the frozen sections in a warm towel.

5. Turn off the stop tap when you're not using the cold water.

This is in case you develop a leak when the frozen pipe thaws. 

6. Make sure the pipes, tanks and overflows are thawed out before trying to clear any air locks in the water system.