Severn Trent issues reminder on protecting your home this winter
Monday 29th November
Severn Trent has issued reminders to customers on how they can protect their home this winter as the country continues to feel the effects of Storm Arwen.
Jodie Bowen, Customer Contact Lead for Severn Trent, explains: “As the weather gets colder the likelihood of customers experiencing frozen pipes on their property increases. We’re not responsible for the pipework inside homes, however we have plenty of advice for what customers should do if they become aware of a frozen pipe on their property.”
Severn Trent is ready for the cold season, bringing in extra resources so that it can cope with any increase in work. It has also made sure that it has the right vehicles, such as 4x4’s, so that work to repair leaks and bursts can continue even in difficult weather.
And the company is advising homeowners to take action now, as the cold can lead to pipes inside the home being damaged, causing flooding and sometimes costly damage. It’s important for customers to understand how they can look after their own pipework, as Jodie explains:
“There’s still time to get your home ready for the winter and it’s such an easy and inexpensive job. Many of our customers may not realise that Severn Trent is only responsible for the water mains and service pipes in the public highway. Anything inside the property boundary is the responsibility of the homeowner. We want our customers to avoid what could be a lot of heartache and expense if their home is affected by burst pipes.
“Colder weather can wreak havoc on household water pipes. When water freezes within a pipe it expands, putting more pressure on the pipes and joints, often causing pipes to split or joints to pull apart.
“Taking steps now to make sure the pipework leading to your home and within your property is protected can help avoid problems with frozen pipes over winter as the temperature continues to drop. I have a few top tips to help our customers make sure they’re well prepared for the cold weather ahead.”
Jodie’s top tips for protecting your household pipes this winter:
- Wrap all pipework, fittings and storage tanks in unheated areas of your home (such as lofts, roofs, outbuildings and garages) with insulation. It’s very important that there are no gaps in the insulation, even where the pipes bend, to make sure the cold is kept out. It’s best to use good quality waterproof foam lagging which can be found at your local DIY store.
- If you have outside taps, either insulate them or drain them down to the pipework that links to the tap. Don’t worry too much about the underground water pipes which lead to your home. These should be buried deep enough to protect them from the frost.
- If you’re concerned about your own DIY abilities, a registered plumber can check your household pipes to make sure they’re properly lagged and fill in any gaps. Severn Trent supports WaterSafe who have a list of approved plumbers at WaterSafe.org.uk.
- As temperatures drop, it’s worth making sure your heating comes on at regular intervals, even if you’re out, to maintain some warmth around your property.
- Make sure that you and other members of your household know where your stop tap is located so that it can be reached quickly in an emergency, and most importantly, check that it’s working properly. Stop taps are usually located under the kitchen sink, in the garage or in a ground floor utility room or bathroom, near to where the water supply pipe first enters your home. A stop tap isn’t used very often and finding that it’s stuck or broken when you’ve had a burst will only complicate the problem.
- If you do have a problem with your water supply this winter, with either low pressure or no water coming out of your taps, first check to see if your neighbours are having similar trouble. This will help establish if the issue is on Severn Trent’s network or on your own supply pipe. If your neighbours’ water supply is normal it is likely that you will need to call a plumber. If more than one household is affected you’ll need to ring Severn Trent’s 24 hour emergency number to report the problem - 0800 783 4444.