Preventing burst pipes this winter. Any advice?

Has any of you knowlegable folks out there got any advice on avoiding burst water pipes during the big freeze (if we get one) this winter?
It`s never happened to me but I bet anyone that has suffered the results of a burst pipe wishes they had taken measures to avoid it.
Any tips?
Thanx.
Tc
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Lag all pipes, especially those in cold loft or underfloor spaces. Don't turn the heating off when not there, just set it to a low temperature instead. Turn off outside tap at isolating valves inside the house. Then open the outside tap.
If going for some time, turn off the rising main. Drain the hot/cold water system. This will limit the extent of any flood (unless it is on the supply line).
On the slightly more work front, always use plastic pipes in loft spaces. When insulating the loft, insulate the rafters rather than the floor for a warm loft situation that keeps pipes and tanks from being cold.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

Warm lofts have often confused me - surely, as you have to keep the eves clear to allow air movement, then insulating the rafters (the main bit of the roof where the tiles are?) would result in warm air being up in the loft, but being blown out with draughts etc.
What stops that happening?
Thanks
D
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David Hearn wrote

Building Regs require ventilation in order to prevent condensation on roof timbers. This will only form on timber surfaces which are colder than the heated spaces in the building (those not fully enclosed by the roof insulation) so it follows that ventilation is only required on the cold side of the insulation. In roofs where the insulation is laid horizontally on the ceiling joists, the whole roofspace will be cold and needs to be ventilated. If the insulation is fixed under the rafters, only the rafters will be cold and so ventilation is only required to the voids between them, on the cold side of the insulation. This void needs to be a minimum of 50mm deep to maintain sufficient air flow.
You'll hear people talking about a "warm roof" not requiring any ventilation. This is confusing. A warm roof is where ALL the roof timbers are on the warm side of the insulation, where the insulation is laid over the top of the rafters. (Tiling battens don't count). In this case no ventilation is necessary as condensation will not form on the timbers.
Peter
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This must be the most stupid question I have ever seen posted here!
Try common sense!
Try lagging, draining, heating!
Yes, common sense.
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wrote:

I find it quite objectionable to have stupid responses like this one. Someone asked an honest question, for which they do not expect to get flamed in this way.

Try ignoring what you don't like reading.
PoP
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Agreed. And where's the common sense in recommending both heating AND draining down?
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What is? You haven't provided any context.

Try reading here: http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?How_to_post

Quite, but you don't seem to have managed it.
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Tony C wrote

Ignore PJO Tony, I think this is a very sensible and timely question. I just want to add a couple of points to Christian's advice:
Remember pipe and tank lagging does not give 100% protection. Luckily I was around at the time so there was no damage, but our pipes in the loft froze one winter, even though they were properly lagged. It was due to icy cold wind blowing through the roof tiles, as we have no sarking felt under the roof tiling. This only happened in one place where the pipes are close to the tiling and I got over it by shielding the pipes and the tanks from the draught with a couple of old blankets pinned to the underside of the rafters. This sort of thing can also happen near airbricks and other ventilation openings.
The principle of pipe lagging is that it slows down the rate of heat loss from pipes and tanks. It doesn't prevent freezing when there is no heat to start with. So if you leave the house unheated for long enough, the lagged pipes and tanks will still be liable to freeze (though usually in this situation it's the rads that go first).
If you do go away for a while, remember there's always the chance of an unexpected cold snap so it's best to keep the heating and hot water on, maybe at a lower temperature, for the whole time. There's no harm in turning off the mains water supply and closing the valves on the hot and cold down services just in case. But draining down is not the wisest thing to do unless you cannot provide any heating at all, and then you should properly drain down ALL pipes and tanks, including the hot water cylinder.
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Thanks guys. I appreciate your replies. Hopefully we`ll all benefit and have a warm DRY winter.
Tony (a novice)
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