We all take our water supply for granted. But if your home or business suffers a burst pipe this winter, you could be left with no water and a hefty bill to repair the damage to your property.
Safeguard your bank balance and water supply by following the simple steps outlined here, for more detailed information download the 'Wrap up warm' leaflet below.
Avoiding frozen pipes
• 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.
What to do if a pipe freezes
• 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.
What to do if a pipe bursts
• Turn off the stopcock and boiler.
• Open all taps to drain the system.
• Call a qualified plumber. You can find a local approved plumbing business at www.watersafe.org.uk.
• If water has leaked near electrics, switch them off at the mains.
• Once the pipework is repaired, turn off the taps to avoid further flooding.
Winter pipe shopping list
• Warm jackets – British Standard tank jackets that come in a wide range of tank sizes.
• Pipe lagging – this comes in one metre lengths and is ready-cut down the centre. Choose the right diameter for your pipes.
• Strong tape – sturdy cloth tape or insulation tape will help cover the joins.
• Tape measure – check how much insulation you’ll need to buy.
• Sharp scissors – to trim off the excess lagging and help make the joins neat.
• Wrap the tap – your outside tap can be protected with a tap jacket or even a towel.
Your local DIY store should be able to supply you everything you need.
Keep your water pipes cosy with our essential guide to avoiding bursts and saving money.