Dealing with a frozen garden tap

It is that time of year again when the freezing conditions in Glasgow can catch us out with frozen outdoor taps.

As winter sets in and temperatures drop, one of the common challenges faced by homeowners is the freezing of garden taps. The consequences of a frozen garden tap can range from inconvenience to potential damage, making it essential for individuals to be proactive in preventing and addressing this issue. While we love a plumbing challenge, we would still like to make sure that you don’t suffer from the inconvenience of a frozen tap this winter.  So lets delve into the causes of frozen garden taps, the potential risks involved, and practical measures to protect your outdoor water fixtures during the cold winter months.

Causes of Frozen Garden Taps

Low Temperatures

The primary cause of frozen garden taps is, unsurprisingly, low temperatures. When the mercury drops below freezing, water left in the tap and connecting pipes can solidify, leading to blockages and potential damage.

Lack of Insulation

Poor insulation around outdoor taps and pipes can exacerbate the freezing issue. Without proper protection, the cold temperatures can penetrate the pipes, causing the water inside to freeze.

Exposed Pipework

Uninsulated or exposed pipework is susceptible to freezing. If garden taps and pipes are not adequately shielded from the elements, they become more prone to the effects of winter weather.

Risks Associated with Frozen Garden Taps

Water Damage

When water freezes, it expands. This expansion can result in burst pipes, leading to leaks and potential water damage to the surrounding area.

Inoperable Taps

Frozen water within the tap can render it inoperable. This inconvenience can disrupt various outdoor activities that require access to water, such as gardening or cleaning. If you like to wash the salt off your car then having a frozen garden tap will be an inconvenience for you.

Structural Damage

If the frozen water causes pipes to burst, it can lead to structural damage to the garden tap and surrounding fixtures. The resulting repairs can be costly and time-consuming.

Preventive Measures


Insulate outdoor taps and exposed pipes with materials designed for cold weather. Foam insulation sleeves or wraps are readily available and can be easily installed to create a barrier against freezing temperatures.

Drain the System

Before the onset of winter, disconnect hoses and drain the water from outdoor taps. This minimises the risk of water remaining in the system and freezing during cold spells.

Install Frost-Free Taps

Consider replacing standard garden taps with frost-free models. These taps are designed with a longer valve stem that is located deeper within the building, reducing the likelihood of freezing. We can of course help you with that.

Heat Tape or Cable

Use electric heat tape or cable to provide additional warmth to exposed pipes. This can be particularly useful in areas where insulation alone may not be sufficient.

Cover Taps

Utilise tap covers or insulated tap jackets to shield outdoor taps from direct exposure to cold winds and temperatures. These covers are designed to provide an extra layer of protection against freezing.

Addressing the issue of frozen garden taps requires a combination of preventive measures and proactive steps. By understanding the causes and potential risks associated with frozen taps, you can take the necessary actions to protect their outdoor water fixtures during the winter months. Whether through insulation, drainage, or the installation of frost-free taps, these measures can help ensure that your garden taps remain functional and undamaged, even in the coldest weather.

And if you have managed to miss this useful article and your garden tap has indeed frozen and burst then give us a call.

Based in Glasgow, we have been one of the top recommended plumbers in Glasgow for many many years.  And it is all because we follow the simple formula of turning up when we say we will and getting the job done.

So if you need plumbing help, call us today.

Call us today for all your plumbing services in Glasgow: 0141 406 1658

  • Quick resolution of problem and good communication.
  • Very friendly throughout the process. Clear information given and very thorough. I will be using them again!
  • JSL Plumbing & Heating replaced a kitchen and a bathroom tap and fixed a toilet where the cistern was leaking into the bowl. He was personable and professional, and provided advice on which replacement taps we might want to get for the bathroom. He provided updates on his progress throughout, and the pricing was reasonable. We have used JSL before and would happily do so again. Have also recommended this company to others.
  • Job completed to our satisfaction. Bathroom and en-suite left tidy and work completed in the timescale agreed and charged as per the quote. Good quality fittings used. Would certainly use JSL Plumbing Services again in future.
  • Jim assessed the leak, which required repair and offered an honest appraisal. He was on time, polite and carried out the work as planned. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him and would use for a larger installation in the future.
  • Had a bent radiator pipe I needed replacing and as I'd already called them out thought I'd get some bath taps fitted. I'd been putting the job off as it was in a really awkward tight place and knew it wouldn't be pleasant. The plumber was happy to help and it didn't cost me as much as I expected for the time and fiddly nature of the job.
  • Very good service with work done quickly after contacting company.

JSL Plumbing in Glasgow

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