How to stop pipes overheating

Posted by: John Temple on 21st June 2023

The warmer weather that we’re enjoying can affect the infrastructure that we rely on, in ways that we may not be aware of. Rising temperatures can cause overheating to hot water pipes, which can prove just as much as a challenge as frozen pipes in the winter. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind pipes overheating, associated risks and offer some preventive measures to help avoid any issues.


How pipes overheat

Water pipes, particularly those exposed to direct sunlight or located in areas without adequate ventilation, can absorb and retain heat from the sun. This absorption of heat can cause the temperature of the water within the pipes to rise dramatically. The pipe’s material and insulation as well as external temperature can worsen the problem.


Associated risks with pipes overheating

Switch your heating on every 3 to 4 weeks – Boiler inactivity is one of the main causes of faults when the colder weather returns.

Poor water quality – higher than average temperatures can negatively impact water quality by encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria. Stagnant water within heated pipes especially becomes a breeding ground for pathogens, posing health risks.

Pipe expansion/leaks – heat causes thermal expansion, which can deform pipes and therefore strain them. Expansion may lead to cracks, leaks, or at worst burst pipes.

Reduced water pressure – overheated pipes can experience reduced water pressure due to increased friction caused by metal that has expanded and potential buildup of minerals. Low water pressure can disrupt showering, watering plants and cleaning.


How to help avoid overheating pipes

Insulation – ensure water pipes are insulated to protect them from direct sunlight and external heat. Foam insulation sleeves or heat-resistant materials are best to reduce heat absorption.

Shade and ventilation – create shade from direct heat sources for exposed water pipes and ensure areas where pipes are located have adequate ventilation.

Use less water where possible – avoid leaving water running for extended periods and limit water wastage. This will reduce the amount of stagnant water within the pipes, lessening the chance of bacteria growth.

Regular maintenance – our plumbing and heating experts are on hand to conduct inspections of your plumbing system. We look for signs of wear or leaks, and can give you a quote on the day for rectifying any issues caused by overheating.


Although it may be a lesser-known central heating issue, it is just as important to reduce the risks of overheating pipes. Prevent significant inconvenience and property damage by following our steps on how to avoid pipes overheating. It is best to be proactive and take the necessary precautions so you can spend your summer worry-free.

If you have any questions on the risks and preventable measures for overheating pipes, the friendly team at Carshalton Boilers are here to help. Our experienced plumbing and heating engineers can also visit your home should you have any problems that could be caused by pipes that have unfortunately overheated.


And if you missed our last blog, find our top tips on what to do with your central heating in the summer.

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