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Avoiding & handling winter emergencies
Wrap up for Winter
We all take our water supply for granted. But if your home or business suffers a burst pipe this winter you could be left with no water and a hefty bill to repair the damage, as pipework within your home or business boundary is your responsibility.
Safeguard your bank balance and water supply by following these simple steps to protect your pipework this winter winter or download our leaflet
avoiding and handling winter emergencies. Avoiding Frozen Pipes
Insulate water tanks and lag pipes (lagging material is available from all good DIY stores). Make sure there are no gaps at bends, valves or fittings.
Pay special attention to water tanks and pipes in unheated areas like loft spaces and garages, and check insulation in any property likely to be unoccupied for long periods.
Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe.
Find your property's internal stoptap and make sure you can turn it off if necessary. Most stoptaps are fitted under the kitchen sink and close by turning clockwise.
Check your boiler has been serviced.
Minimise draughts from outside and close doors and windows to unheated parts of the property.
Leave the heating on low when you are away and get a friend or neighbour to check the property regularly.
If a property (such as an office or school) is going to be unoccupied for long periods, turn off the water at the stopcock and consider draining down the system so there is no water left in the pipes.
Keep a separate supply of drinking water for emergencies. How to Fit Pipe Lagging
Video transcript. Preparing an outside tap for winter
Video transcript. If a Pipe Freezes
Turn off the water supply at the stopcock.
Check to see if the pipe has burst.
Slowly thaw the pipe with hot water bottles or a towel soaked in hot water, starting at the end nearest the tap.
Never use a naked flame, hair-dryer or blowtorch to thaw the pipe.
Don't leave taps dripping or running as the water may not drain down the plughole if the pipe below is frozen. If a Pipe Bursts
Turn off the stoptap and boiler.
Open all taps to drain the system quickly.
Soak up/block off escaping water with thick towels.
Call a qualified plumber. Local water industry recommended plumbers can be found by visiting
www.wras.co.uk/WIAPS If water has leaked near your electrics or into any electrical appliances, switch them off at the mains.
Turn off taps once pipework is repaired to avoid further flooding.
If you have your own plumber, make a note of their name and number so you have it handy in an emergency. From Health to Heating… where to find other useful information
Wrapping up for winter isn't just about your pipework.
It's also about making sure you and your family are ready for the cold weather. Visit
www.metoffice.gov.co.uk for practical information and essential tips to help you during the winter months. Here's a reminder of why you need to get ready for winter
How frozen pipes can burst
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