THE time-honoured method of allowing 1 taps to run at night during frost is not always effective, and besides being very wasteful may be disastrous if the outlet of a sink or bath becomes sealed by ice.
The safest method of protecting the main is to have a drain-cock fitted near the turn-off cock, turn off the water at night, and allow all the pipes connected with the main to empty themselves through the drain-cock and indoor tap3. No water will then be left to freeze, and a supply of fresh water is assured.
CISTERNS AND OUTSIDE PIPES
DRAUGHTY situations are specially – favourable to freezing. The connections to a service cistern in the roof are very vulnerable, and should be well-wrapped in felt and straw, or be stuffed round with protecting materials.where they cannot be wrapped. A cistern generally stands on rafters, and there are spaces under it where cold air can circulate. These should be blocked with straw. Wrapping the sides in old carpets, and covering over the top with carpet and straw, will assist greatly in keeping the water above freezing point. A further safeguard is to open the trapdoor into the roof and admit the warm air from the house into the roof.
Pipes running down inside walls facing north and cast also demand special attention, especially where they pass near windows. A draught from a partly-closed window may have disastrous effocts on an unorotected pipe; and a note should be made to close the windows of lavatories, with pipes and flushing cisterns near them, at night.
Frost will sometimes invade inside fittings through the metal of the pipes themselves, which is an excellent conductor of cold. The trap of a bath or sink may become frozen by cold reaching it through the pipe which passes through the wall and discharges into a gulley outside. Therefore these outside pipes should be well wrapped before winter comes on, and, if possible, be further protected by straw stuffed between the wall and canvas attached to it.
Pipes leading to taps which have ceased to be used – one finds such sometimes in pantries from which washing-up has been transferred to the scullery – are dangerous, and in many cases it would be advisable to have them removed.
Lead pipes which have been hammered to an oval section are not likely to burst, as ice will make room for itself by restoring them to circular form.
Lavatory and gulloy taps can be saved from freezing by pouring brine into them at night, since the freezing point of brine is far below that of plain water. The brine should be introduced gently, so that it may not mix with the water, which, being lightor, will be displaced bv it.
Thawing Pipes. Though a pipe may freeze up, bursting may be prevented if the pipe is thawed again immediately. Hotwater bags prove very useful in places where hot water cannot be applied with a sponge or flannel.
Hot flat-irons, again, may be effective in corners difficult to reach with the hand, as they radiate a great deal of heat.