Wrap up warm - and don′t forget your pipes


Northumbrian Water is urging customers not to forget their water pipes when they wrap up warm for the onset of winter.

Winter is well and truly on its way and as temperatures drop, the chances of frozen pipes increase. If not handled correctly, this could lead to the expense, distress and inconvenience of bursts in the home.

By taking some simple precautions, people can protect their homes and businesses and mitigate the risk of such issues arising in the event of a big freeze.

To download an information leaflet about protecting your home or business against frozen pipes go to www.nwl.co.uk/btf.

Northumbrian Water has also issued a list of 11 top tips for caring for pipes in the winter.

To prevent pipes from freezing:
• Insulate water tanks and lag pipes.
• Pay special attention to unheated areas like lofts and garages.
• Check unoccupied properties regularly.
• Fix dripping taps.
• Make sure you know where your stopcock is.
• Check that your boiler has been serviced.
• Minimise draughts from doors and windows.
• If you are away, leave the heating on low.
• If properties are unoccupied for a long time turn off the stopcock.
• Drain outdoor taps and wrap with an outdoor tap jacket.
• Remember garages and outbuildings, and check water supplies and insulation.

Richard Seales, Northumbrian Water’s Customer Contact Manager said: “It’s important that we keep ourselves warm this winter, but people who really want to reduce the potential for misery can take proactive measures to create a layer of insulation against pipe bursts. Water pipes and tanks also need protection against the elements.

"Our simple tips can help people to keep their homes and businesses frost-free, avoid costly plumbing bills and reduce the chances of a huge amount of inconvenience during severe weather conditions.”

If pipes do freeze:
• Turn off the water supply.
• Check if the pipe has burst.
• Open affected tap and slowly and thaw with hot water bottles or towel soaked in hot water.
• Frozen pipes should never be thawed with a naked flame or blowtorch.

Customers looking for a local, approved plumber to help them this winter are being advised by Northumbrian Water to visit www.watersafe.org.uk and use the online directory.

The water company is also asking customers to help ensure external leaks are repaired as quickly as possible by reporting them to the dedicated leak-line on 0800 393 084. This is a free phone service and operates 24 hours a day.

For further media information, contact Paul White on 0191 3015325.

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