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Check your pipes this Winter

06 December 22

Save on potential plumbing bills and check your pipes this Winter says Affinity Water

  • Simple actions such as lagging exposed pipes in lofts and gardens could save households on expensive plumbing repair bills
  • Turning off all heating in a home can lead to problems later when thaws set in
  • Affinity Water ask vulnerable customers to sign up to Priority Services Register and supports those struggling to pay

As winter sets in Affinity Water, the UK’s largest water only supplier, is messaging its customers to prepare them for what could happen in their homes if they don’t carry out a few essential checks.

Water pipes in lofts and in gardens can freeze in cold weather which in turn often leads to leaks and damage when they thaw. It has warned that customers who are managing without any heating this winter are more vulnerable.

“Are You Ready for Winter?” is Affinity Water’s moto and it is advising its 3.8 million customers across the South East to ensure they have lagged exposed pipes and taps in lofts and gardens.

Christmas is a time of year when families may go away and homes left empty for more than a day or two without heating on are more at risk from possible freezing and bursts.

Simple steps to get homes ready before any big freeze hits could prevent potentially thousands of pounds of property damage.

To prevent burst pipes

  • Insulate exposed water pipes with felt, pipe wrap or other insulating material and cover any outside pipe or fitting with a waterproof material
  • Make sure your cold-water tank is insulated
  • If you have an outside tap, insulate it too
  • Check where your stop tap is to isolate your water supply and make sure it works
  • Leave central heating on a frost protection setting overnight or if you are going away for a few days
  • Make your home more energy efficient and have boilers serviced and bleed radiators.
  • Carry out a home water visit
  • If you are planning on leaving your home or office unattended for a long period, turn off the water supply.

If a burst happens

If pipes do freeze, turn off the stop tap, slowly thaw the pipes near where it enters the house with a hair dryer, a towel soaked in hot water or a hot water bottle. Never use a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw a pipe. If a pipe bursts, turn off the stop tap, leave an internal tap on to allow thawed water to escape and contact a qualified plumber.

When looking for a plumber, it is recommended to select one that is a member of an approved contractor scheme, such as WaterSafe. Approved businesses can be found at: watersafe.org.uk

Vulnerable Customers and Friends

The company is also asking customers to check in on their vulnerable friends and relatives and to get them to sign up to Affinity Water’s free Priority Services Register at affinitywater.co.uk/priority-services to ensure they are supported in the event of any supply issues this winter. There is also help in certain circumstance with paying bills.

Fiona Wilson, External Communications Manager at Affinity Water said:

“Any sudden drop in temperature could cause damage to pipes and property if households aren’t prepared. This year customers are particularly vulnerable as they may not be heating their homes to save on energy costs. If that is the case it is even more important that they carry out our checks, lag their pipes and visit our website for advice.

“We know that if pipes freeze during the night, the first you may be aware of a problem is when they thaw, causing water to stream from burst pipes in the loft, flooding rooms below. The consequences can be very damaging and upsetting, but this can be easily avoided by insulating exposed pipe work.

“Not only you will be protecting your home and family but also the environment by avoiding wasting precious water. Despite, all the rain we have seen in the past couple of months, our groundwater levels are still low, so we must do everything we can to protect the supplies we have”.

Affinity Water is advising customers to check on what they should do by visiting its website and see some handy how to videos.

Customers can also find out how to save water and save money on their bills by taking our three minute My Water Footprint quiz today. They can get free water-saving device too, find out more at affinitywater.co.uk/saveourstreams

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Our Communications team handles all media enquiries on behalf of Affinity Water and its employees.

Contact us on 01707 277 110 or email news@affinitywater.co.uk.

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