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26 February 18

Prepare your pipes for Siberian Blast

With colder weather making a swift arrival across the UK, the UK’s largest water only supplier Affinity Water is encouraging people to check water pipes in lofts and gardens are properly insulated so they don’t freeze, which can lead to leaks 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.

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:

An Affinity Water spokesperson said: "Any sudden drop in temperature could cause damage to pipes and property if people 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".

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.

Useful information on how to lag pipes and dealing with frozen pipes can be found on the Affinity Water website at:

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