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Teacher’s Survival Guide to Burst Pipes

Wednesday 5th January 2011

With all the recent reports about school closures due to burst or frozen pipes, here at Free Teaching Resources we’ve put together some top tips to help teachers survive the problems.

  • First of all when you arrive at school to find water dripping slowly down your classroom walls, and pooling in the assembly hall, make sure the head of school is alerted so they can find someone who knows where the main stop tap is to turn off the water supply.
  • If the pipes are actually frozen it’s important to thaw them as quickly as possible as the expansion of the water will cause the pipes to burst. Water can cause a great deal of damage so it’s important to be able to remove or protect anything nearby that may be affected.
  • Once you’re ready to defrost the pipes, turn on the tap closest to the pipe so the melted ice can flow out, and, using a hot water bottle, or a hair dryer, gradually warm the pipe up to melt the ice.

Advice from insurance companies state that homeowners should leave their central heating on a constant but very low  temperature, at least 12 degrees Celsius, however because schools in the UK have been closed over the festive season, most have had their boilers switched off completely, hence the current frozen and burst pipe problems in schools up and down the country.

If the big freeze continues over the next half term maybe schools should be advised to leave the heating on despite the rising fuel bills. Insurance experts say the average claim for a burst pipe is £15,000, which highlights the importance of good cover.


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