70% of burst pipes during the freezing weather were private pipes, so make sure you know how to protect them

During the freezing weather from the “Beast from the East”, a whopping 70% of the water pipes that burst were actually private pipes rather than our pipes.  And although many were in customers’ homes, a lot of were either in businesses or abandoned buildings, sometimes making them difficult to spot.

It may have warmed up this week, but last year’s “Beast from the East” hit us in March, so we can’t guarantee the cold weather has disappeared for good this year.  And just in case it gets cold again, we're asking our customers to do three things - at home, make sure you insulate unheated water pipes in lofts and to cover external taps to prevent them from bursting in freezing temperatures.  Make sure you know what to do and who to call if your pipes do burst, and finally, check unused buildings to make sure everything is ok there too.

Howard Perry, Energy Manager, said: “Colder weather can cause huge problems for water pipes so we’re asking our customers to make sure they look after their home’s and businesses’ water pipes.  Many people don’t realise that, as water freezes within a pipe it expands, putting pressure on joints which can result in splits or bursts.

“To protect your pipes, you can insulate them - lagging pipes is actually really easy and cheap, potentially saving thousands of pounds as bursts are not only devastating, but messy and expensive to fix.  We don’t want people to gamble on the cold weather not coming back this year, and we’re encouraging
them to make their homes and businesses even more protected against cold weather.

“If you do find that you have a burst pipe on your property, it is your responsibility to get that repaired as quickly as possible.  Although we can’t fix it for you, we can absolutely help you to find a reliable WaterSafe certified plumber through our website  - just click here.”

To support homeowners and businesses, we're also providing information where people can learn how to lag pipes, the key things to look out for, and how to fit external tap guards. The webpage above also includes information on how to find a stop tap outside a home or business.