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Is your home ready for winter?

As the colder months
approach, it’s important to make sure our homes and pipes are protected from the cold weather. Here’s some helpful advice to make sure you’re ready.

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One of the best ways to prevent your pipes from freezing is to insulate exposed pipes inside and outside your home. An easy way to do this is to use lagging, a foam tube that sits around the pipe. Lagging your pipes is easy to do with supplies that can be purchased from your local DIY store.

You will need to measure the length of the pipe you wish to cover, cut the lagging to size, then using the pre-cut slit in the tube place the lagging around the pipe making sure it fits snug around the pipe. You can always use tape to secure the tube around any corners or joints. Lagging can be used inside and outside the home.

Don’t forget to insulate any pipework or water tanks in your loft. You can purchase British Standard tank jackets that come in a wide range of sizes. Leaving your loft hatch open will allow the heat from your home to circulate up into the loft space.

Keep your heating on a low or frost setting when you’re not home, using draft excluders on doors or closing curtains when the heating comes on in the evening is a good way to stop heat escaping.

Did you know: Covering your hot water pipes will keep your water warmer for longer which can help to reduce your energy costs.

What to do if your pipe freeze or burst

If you think your pipes have frozen you need to locate your stop tap and switch off the water supply as soon as possible, then check your pipework for any signs of damage or leaks. You can thaw the pipe by using a hot water bottle or by wrapping the pipe with a towel soaked in hot water. Never use a direct heat source such as a naked flame it is important to thaw the pipe slowly.

If you experience a burst pipe you will need to act quickly to minimise any damage to your property. Stop the water supply immediately by switching off the stop tap and drain any water still in the system by turning on all your taps.

If there are any electrics near the burst pipe switch off the electricity at the mains. If you think there may be damage to any sockets near the burst, do not touch them yourself as they may not be safe you should contact an electrician to check for them for you.

Be prepared

Know where your stop tap is -Your stop tap is usually located under your kitchen sink but it’s worth checking the location before anything happens so that you can react quickly in an emergency to shut off the water supply.

Fix any leaks and dripping taps – Dripping taps and small leaks may not seem like an issue but it’s important to repair them before they can cause a bigger problem. Making repairs to dripping taps and small leaks will not only save water but will also save you money on your water bill.

Have the number of a plumber to hand – Should you experience a burst pipe you will then be able to quickly contact someone. We recommend you use a plumber that is an eligible member of an Approved Plumber/Contract Scheme such as WaterSafe.

Check your home insurance policy – You may be covered for issues relating to your plumbing.

Knowing your responsibility

It is important to know which sections of pipework you are responsible for in case something goes wrong in the winter months such as a burst pipe. Click here to view our pipework responsibility diagram.

Prevent your drains from blocking

The quickest and easiest way to make sure your drains are operating at peak efficiency is, quite simply to clean them! Remove any leaves and mud from the grate to stop any potential freezing and blocking in your drains.

Helping hand

If you need extra assistance especially over the colder period, please make sure you complete our Customer Priority Registration form so our team know best how to support you.