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Photograph of outside pipes being lagged

Frozen Pipes

Burst pipes cause many of the emergency repairs we attend in severe weather. Many of these bursts could have been avoided by tenants taking just a few, simple precautions such as lagging pipework in cold areas like outside taps or in outside toilets.

Due to the number of emergency repairs we receive in severe weather, we have to prioritise them to help the most vulnerable tenants first. 

It is especially important that tenants living in upstairs flats take precautions as any burst pipes could lead to flooding and water damage to your neighbours’ homes. 

Thaw a condensate pipe
Watch this video by Worcester Bosch to find out how to thaw a frozen pipe and prevent it freezing in future

General Precautions

  • Try to keep your heating turned on - this is not always easy to do due to the cost of fuel but it can stop pipes freezing up and causing damage to your home and possessions - it is recommended that you heat your home to at least 18°C in winter as this poses minimal risk to your health when wearing suitable clothing
  • Know where your stop taps and valves are located – you’ll need to turn them off quickly if there is a burst.  The main stop tap is often found under the kitchen sink
  • You may have had a Sure Stop valve fitted to assist in turning off the mains cold water in an emergency. If you have had one of these devices installed, you will recognise it by the large blue rocker switch.  In an emergency simple press the blue switch which will instantly stop the flow of mains water into your home
  • Keep your kettle filled and store bottles of water in case your water is turned off
  • If you are leaving your home empty over the winter, please ask us and we will drain down your plumbing system to avoid bursts. Please report this as a normal repair
  • If you are leaving your home empty for a short period over the winter, it is best to leave your gas central heating operating at a reduced temperature rather than switching it off – this will prevent pipes from freezing
  • Turn off stop taps in outside toilets and wash rooms, protect any exposed pipework with additional insulation using old clothing or sacks. This additional measure could help pipes freezing up.

Get in touch

Report an emergency repair
08000 121 621

Complete our online form

 Email: contactus@

Visit your local Area Office

Rykneld Homes Ltd, Pioneer House, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, Chesterfield S42 6NG

Useful links

If your condensing boiler stops working in very cold weather, the condenser waste pipe outside your home may have frozen.  Try defrosting it with hot water and remove any ice. 

Once thawed, the boiler must reset.

This can be done by holding in the reset button for 10 seconds and then waiting for the boiler to fire.