Winter is just around the corner, so now is a great time to be thinking about protecting your pipes.
Cold weather can cause problems for your water supply
When water freezes inside a pipe it turns into ice. The ice needs more room than water, as it expands. As the ice expands, it increases pressure on the pipes and joints, often causing pipes to split or joints to pull apart.
What can I do to protect pipes from freezing?
Protect your pipes and fittings by insulating all pipework in unheated areas like lofts, roofs, garages and outbuildings. Your local plumbers merchants and DIY stores can provide help and advice on the correct insulation. If you have outside taps, insulate them. (Underground water pipes to properties are buried to a minimum depth of just under a metre so this provides protection from frost.)
When do you need to act? Now... don’t delay and end up with a burst
It makes good sense to check all pipes inside your home to ensure they are lagged and protected. If you are confident in your DIY skills you can do this yourself or you can ask a registered plumber can do this for you. Take extra care when entering areas such as roof spaces - if you are in any doubt about being able to do your own checks safely, then call a registered plumber who can advise you further.
Be prepared - find your stop tap
Locate your internal stop tap. This is usually found under the kitchen sink, in ground floor utility rooms or bathrooms, or in the garage. If your pipes do freeze and you lose your water supply, you are likely to suffer a burst - so you will need to be able to turn the water off if that happens.
Not sure how to find and operate your stop tap? You can get advice from a plumber, search our approved plumbers list to find one near you.
If you are leaving your property for a few days during colder weather, it is advisable to turn off your water at the stop tap. Plan ahead by checking your home insurance to ensure you are covered for emergency repairs and keep the number of a reputable plumber handy.
If you have no water, what should you do?
If you have no water, check with your neighbours. If they too have no water, please call our 24-hour emergency line on 0800 783 4444.
If your neighbours do have water, then you need to call a plumber as it’s highly likely you have an issue with your private plumbing. Please don’t call us, as unfortunately, we won’t be able to help you. (We are responsible for the water mains in the public highway and the service pipes to each property up to the public highway boundary. Private plumbing is a matter for the property owner and we don’t provide a private plumbing service.)