Property owners are being urged to give frozen water pipes a frosty reception this winter.
BBC Weatherman, Paul Mooney, (pictured below with a blue water pipe) urges home and business owners to ensure their water pipes are ′wrapped up′ warm this winter - click on image below to download.
Northumbrian Water is warning both domestic and business customers to heed their advice, and ensure internal water pipes and tanks are protected and lagged, so they avoid the misery of frozen or burst pipes as temperatures plummet.
The Met Office and British Weather Services are both forecasting sub-zero temperatures and significant snowfall this winter.
BBC Look North’s, Paul Mooney, who supports the utility company’s campaign, said: "Winter, by it’s very nature, is sure to bring us freezing conditions at some point and it’s important that we do our best to keep one step ahead.
"Northumbrian Water’s tips to beat the freeze this winter are simple things that we can all do easily and quickly, and which could prevent a lot of hassle and stress."
To prevent pipes from freezing:
• Ensure pipes are properly insulated, both inside and out.
• Keep heating turned on, or on a timer for short periods every day, to maintain warmth.
• Check for draughts around windows and doors and insulate if needed, as pipes can freeze if near a draught.
• Make sure pipes and tanks in the loft are lagged.
• Customers should find out where the property’s internal private stop tap is located and check that it works in case of an emergency. If it does not work then you should contact a plumber who will be able to help.
• Turn off valves to outside taps.
• If the property is going to be unoccupied, the water supply should be turned off at the private stop tap and internal water pipes and tanks should be drained.
Claire Sharp, Northumbrian Water’s distribution manager, said: "By following our simple advice, customers can keep their homes and businesses frost-free and avoid costly plumbing bills and a huge amount of inconvenience during severe weather conditions.
"It’s not just people who need to keep warm and wrap up with extra layers in winter, water tanks and pipes also need protection."
If pipes do freeze:
• Apply gentle heat to the pipes. Use a hair dryer, heat lamp or fan heater. Do not use a naked flame or blow torch. Start at the tap and work away from it, leaving the tap open to allow thawed water to escape.
• Watch the pipes for any splits which may develop.
• If any bursts are found, turn the water off and call a plumber who will be able to help.
Northumbrian Water is also asking customers to help ensure external leaks are repaired as quickly as possible by reporting them to their dedicated leak-line on 0800 393 084. This is a free phone service and operates 24 hours a day.
The Government’s ‘Get ready for winter’ web campaign, supported by the water industry’s trade body, Water UK, is also encouraging families, businesses and communities to be prepared for winter weather.
Useful information and advice can be found at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/get-ready-for-winter.
For further information contact Cara Charlton on 0191 301 6720.