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Get ready for winter 2016
There are lots of simple steps households can take to prepare for a cold winter and now is a great time to get ahead and make sure homes are snug:
  • 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

Winter tips and videos from WaterSafe plumbers can be found at www.watersafe.org.uk/winter.  Also keep the name of a plumber handy - type in your postcode at watersafe.org.uk to find your nearest accredited plumbing business.

For further advise and guidance why not read our blog: It's time to Get Ready for Winter.

Top ten tips for a problem-free winter

  1. Know where your internal stop tap is and how to turn it off. If you don't have one please consider getting one installed by a reputable plumber so you can operate and control the supply in the case of an emergency
  2. Check existing insulation and replace areas showing wear and tear
  3. Fully lag all pipes if possible but especially those in unheated areas such as lofts, garages or gardens
  4. Get advice about insulation thickness from the experts at a DIY store
  5. Isolate and drain outside taps
  6. On very cold days, leave the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate and prevent pipes from freezing
  7. If you go away for a few days, ask a friend to visit and keep watch for leaks
  8. If you go away for an extended period of time, leave your central heating on a low setting
  9. Cold water tanks should be insulated on all sides but not underneath to allow warm air to circulate
  10. Keep the contact details of a reputable plumber to hand.

What to do if you discover a problem

  1. If you don't have any water check with neighbours. If they still have water, your pipes may be frozen
  2. Check pipes for signs of a split - a burst will not occur until the water has thawed
  3. Turn off the supply using the internal stop tap
  4. Turn off the central heating and any other water heating appliances
  5. Drain the system by flushing the toilet and opening cold taps over sinks and baths
  6. If you don't find any damage, turn on all the taps and thaw the frozen pipe using a warm towel or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel
  7. When the pipes have thawed and you're sure no damage or leak has occurred, turn off the taps and slowly switch the supply back using the internal stop tap
  8. Check the pipes again now that they are under pressure and check again for signs of damage or a leak before switching on water heating appliances
  9. If you discover a leak or burst pipe, call a reputable plumber immediately. See www.watersafe.org.uk for a list of recommended plumbers. 

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