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28 November 16

Protect your pipes this winter

With colder weather taking an icy grip across the UK, Affinity Water is encouraging customers to check that water pipes in lofts and gardens are properly insulated so they don’t freeze, which can lead to leakage and damage when they thaw.

Any homes and businesses left empty for more than a day or two are particularly at risk and should be protected against possible freezing and bursts.

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.”

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

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.
Dealing with frozen pipes

If pipes do freeze, turn off the stop tap to cut the water supply.  Slowly thaw the pipes with a hair dryer, a towel soaked in hot water or a hot water bottle. Start thawing the pipe near where it enters the house. Never use a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw a pipe.

Dealing with burst pipes

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 plumbing business, it is recommended to select one that is a member of an approved contractor scheme, such as WaterSafe. Approved businesses can be found at:

Further information can also be found on the ‘Get Ready for Winter’ website:

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Contact us on 01707 277 110 or email

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