Keep water pipes nice and cosy this winter
- Credit: Archant
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning covering much of Norfolk, and with the chance of heavy snow on the way, Anglian Water's David Hartley explains how taking some small steps now can help protect your home against damage should a big freeze strike.
We didn't have a white Christmas last year, with relatively mild temperatures giving everyone a pleasant festive period. However, as we entered January, the weather has taken a much colder turn, with frost starting to appear as night time temperatures begin to fall.
It's when a cold snap arrives that pipes can freeze and burst, causing big, expensive problems in the home. The longer you leave preparations, the more likely you are to be hit by the snap.
The repair bill can be huge. As well as drying out and buying new contents, homes might need new ceilings, re-plastering and even shoring up if the foundations have been undermined. Home insurance is there for the unforeseen, but nobody wants to face a hefty insurance excess or renewal premium if they can avoid it.
While it might be easier for people to ignore a slight drop in temperature, our advice to customers is to take action now, in preparation for when the temperatures drop. That way, you can relax and keep warm, while winter does its worst.
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A real cold spell can quickly turn your cosy winter home into a nightmare. Cold temperatures can cause water inside pipes to freeze – leading to bursts, floods and the misery of being without water for drinking, cooking and washing – as well as the potential to cause thousands of pounds of damage.
This is why we're helping to advise customers about how they can prepare their homes now by ensuring pipes are lagged, dripping taps are fixed and plumber's numbers are at the ready if the worst comes to the worst.
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Thankfully, there are some easy steps we can take to avoid a burst pipe in the home. And, as the recent cold spell has proved, a mild temperature one month doesn't mean we shouldn't prepare for the colder, late-winter weather.
A few simple checks around the home can help make sure we're prepared:
Wrap up pipes and water tanks with lagging – DIY stores have everything you need
Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe
Find your home's stop tap and make sure you can turn it off – most are under the kitchen sink
Leave the heating on low if you go away
Check your central heating boiler has been serviced
Keep the name of a plumber handy – type in your postcode at watersafe.org.uk to find your nearest accredited plumbing business
These are just some of the practical things that will help make sure your home is wrapped up warm ready for winter, whenever it may make an appearance.
If the worst happens and you do have a burst pipe, turn off the water at the stop tap, allow the thawed water to escape through your tap as normal and call a plumber who is qualified to work with the drinking water in your home.
Don't forget to keep an eye on family, friends and vulnerable neighbours too, and if you're out and about and spot a leaking pipe then please report it to our Leakline on 0800 771 881 or visit the In Your Area page on our website.
Households looking for a trusted plumber to help them this winter are advised to use the online directory WaterSafe, which is backed by all water companies in the UK.
To find a qualified plumber, visit watersafe.org.uk or call 0333 207 9030. Find out more hints and tips for keeping your pipes cosy at www.anglianwater.co.uk/winter