Affinity Water has issued advice for householders to protect against problems over winter.
- Insulate exposed water pipes in your loft and outside. You can use felt, pipe wrap or other insulating material and cover any outside pipe or fitting with a waterproof material. These are available at most DIY stores.
- If you have a cold water tank, make sure it is insulated.
- If you have an outside tap, insulate it too.
- Check that your external and internal stop taps are working so you will be able to turn off your water supply in an emergency.
- If it’s very cold outside leave central heating on a low setting overnight.
- If you are planning on leaving your home or business unattended for a long period, turn off the water supply at your stop tap.
- Consider leaving the heating on a low setting.
- Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can lead to a frozen pipe.
Dealing with frozen pipes
If pipes do freeze, use the stop tap to turn off the water supply. Slowly thaw the pipe with a hairdryer or a towel soaked in hot water or a hot water bottle. Start thawing at the end nearest the tap. Never use a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw the pipe.
Dealing with burst pipes
Turn off your stop taps and make sure your central heating boiler or immersion heater is turned off. Leave an internal tap on to allow thawed water to escape and contact an approved plumber. To find an approved plumber please visit: www.watersafe.org.uk