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07 December 20

Affinity Water launches new “Get Winter Ready” checklist to prepare homes to prevent household pipe bursts

  • Protect exposed pipes in lofts and gardens by insulating them
  • Mend dripping taps
  • If going away for Christmas turn off your water supply
  • Save on plumbing bills and “Get Winter Ready” now
  • Vulnerable customers can sign up to Priority Services Register

Affinity Water is calling on its 3.6 million customers in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, London, Folkestone, Dover and the Tendring Peninsula to Get Winter Ready and protect their homes from frozen pipes and bursts during the winter months.

Households are being urged to ensure water pipes in lofts and gardens are properly insulated so they don’t freeze, which can lead to leaks, bursts and damage when they thaw. Homes left empty for more than a day or two without heating on are more at risk from possible freezing and bursts.

Affinity Water is also reminding customers that if someone they know needs help during a water supply incident. e.g. those with a medical condition, such as home dialysis then they can sign up to the company’s Priority Services Register www.affinitywater.co.uk/priority-services. It will also continue to support those affected financially by coronavirus.

Kevin Barton, Head of External Communications said:

“Any sudden drop in temperature could cause damage to pipes and property if households aren’t prepared. 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. “If you are going away to spend Christmas with friends or family you may want to keep your heating on low to stop pipes from freezing or to turn off your water supply. We are asking our customers to get Winter Ready and prevent bursts and frozen pipes from happening.

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

“We know it’s been a hard year for many customers, and the winter months can add even more challenges, which is why we are continuing to support those who have been affected financially by coronavirus. Find out more about the help we can offer at www.affinitywater.co.uk/coronavirus"

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
  • If you are planning on leaving your home or office unattended for a long period, turn off the water supply.
  • 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.

Useful information on how to lag pipes and dealing with frozen pipes can be found on the Affinity Water website at: www.affinitywater.co.uk/coldweather

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: www.watersafe.org.uk

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