A full copy of the Winter Guidance Newsletter can also be downloaded here.
The severe cold weather in the past has caused a number of issues. We are keen to provide you with as much support as possible to avoid or assist you with common problems that can occur over the colder months. This information should be read in conjunction with your Tenant Information Pack provided to you at the commencement of your tenancy. If you have any questions in relation to any of the advice contained within this document or need a further copy of your Inventory or Tenant Information Pack please do not hesitate to contact us.
In very cold weather it is advisable to keep heating on constant at a low temperature, particularly if you live in a house built in the 1980s or before. Older buildings have single-skin brick walls which need to be consistently warm to avoid cold spots where condensation will form, creating surface mould. If you are away during the winter period it is best to leave the heating on low and constantly to avoid burst pipes. Find your stop tap for the water, normally where the water pipes enter the property, under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom/toilet.
rolonged spells of extremely cold weather can affect certain types of gas boilers and can stop them working. If you have a condensing boiler showing a fault code or making a gurgling or bubbling sound this may be sign the condensate pipe is frozen. The following steps should help you get things back to normal quickly;
Locate the Blockage
The pipe is probably frozen at its most exposed point, this may be the open end of the pipe or at a bend. Running your hand over the pipe (being careful whilst doing so) to find a section that feels colder than the rest should help you identify where the blockage is.
Thaw the Pipe
Using a jug or watering can pour warm water along the length of the pipe, repeatedly until the pipe has thawed. Alternatively you can use hot water bottle(s) or heat pack(s) to defrost the pipe slowly. DO NOT USE BOILING WATER, this can damage the pipe.
Restart the Boiler
Once the frozen section of pipe is cleared follow the instructions in the boiler manual (this can normally be found online if you don’t have one to hand) to restart the boiler.
REPAIRS: We do not send engineers to breakdowns out of hours or on Sundays or Bank Holidays as parts suppliers are closed therefore they cannot complete repairs.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no set timescale for heating repairs within legislation, Platinum and our contractors will always do our best to expedite works in line with our client’s instructions, however, it is always advisable to be prepared by having a small number of electric heaters to hand in case your heating fails.
Turn off the means of heating the water and turn the mains supply off via the mains stop tap. Allow the pipe to naturally thaw or use hot water bottle(s) to wrap around the pipe to clear the blockage of frozen water. DO NOT USE BOILING WATER.
Turn off the means of heating the water and turn the mains supply off via the mains stop tap. Turn on all taps to drain the system down as quickly as possible, this can take up to 15 minutes. Remember to turn off the taps once the system is empty. If water is getting into the electrical installation of the property turn the electrics off at the mains fuse box/consumer unit.
FIND THE LOCATION AND CHECK FUNCTIONALITY OF ALL VALVES, MAINS STOP TAP AND FUSEBOARD NOW – BEFORE YOU MIGHT NEED THEM! Familiarise yourself with the gate valves on hot/cold water tanks (where applicable), they are usually in the same cupboard as the tanks themselves. Check if you have stop valves on water supply pipes to taps, toilets, etc and ensure you have a flathead screwdriver for operation. Check valves are functional and not seized.
Call National Grid, see ‘Useful Numbers’ below.
Check the mains fuse board for all fuses being in the up ‘on’ position. If a switch is in the down ‘off’ position please reset this (some boards require you to push in the switch as you push upward). NB: If the switch trips again please turn sockets/appliances on/off individually as something is potentially causing the trip, isolating off the cause will allow you to reset the switch to regain power. If the above does not work please ensure there is not a local power outage by checking with National Grid, please see useful numbers.
Condensation is a problem at this time of year when moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces. It is prevalent in homes where warm air moves into colder areas. The following points help avoid/prevent condensation;
More advice is available at www.nihe.gov.uk/condensation_in_your_home.pdf or www.bestheating.com/info/blog/how-can-i-stop-condensation-this-winter/
Water Board 03457 145145
National Grid 0800 111 999
UK Power Network 0800 783 8866
NHS Non Emergency 111
Police Non Emergency 101
Emergency Services 999