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Wrap up for winter

As the temperature drops, the risk of a burst increases.

Did you know?

When temperatures drop below 0° water starts to freeze, amazing we know!

In March 2018 after a 16° drop in temperature we had almost 175 burst mains in one week alone. We've invested loads to try and stop as many burst mains as possible but if it gets that cold again we are likely to see mains bursting. Be prepared!

Watch this video to find out why water mains burst more during winter.

Spend a fiver, save £9,000

According to the Association of British Insurers, a burst pipe will on average see you out of pocket by £8,800.

Some home insurers will only cover the cost of a burst if you’ve lagged your pipes, and even then, it’ll depend on your policy cover and excess.

Why do pipes burst in winter?

When water freezes, it expands by nearly 10%. This can put a lot of strain on pipes, particularly when there’s fast changes in temperature.

Our top W-I-N-T-R ready tips:

Wrap your pipes with lagging

Just like your poor cold hands and feet in winter, the same goes for the pipes at the ends of your home. Lag your outdoor, garage and loft pipes. Fortunately, this is quick, easy and fairly cheap to do yourself. You can pick this up for a couple of pounds per meter in a DIY store.

Is there a tap dripping outside? Get it fixed

It’s important to fix it as it makes your pipes more prone to freezing because it is more exposed to the cold air.

Not in? Keep the heating on low

Hot, cold. Hot, cold. This sudden change in temperature can cause havoc on your poor pipes – particularly if they’ve frozen.

Instead of turning the heating off, set it to around 14 degrees to maintain a constant temperature. Maintaining a constant temperature, as opposed to heating from scratch shouldn’t make a noticeable difference on your energy bill.

Tap: find your Stop Tap now so you know where it is

Where your stop tap is located can vary from house to house, so it’s best to take a look. You’ll normally find them under the kitchen sink or cupboard, in the garage or utility room or in the bathroom.

Regularly service your boiler

Servicing your boiler regularly is important for three reasons: keeping it efficient - so it can keep you warm better, household safety - so you can keep that 70 degree water under close supervision and keeping your warranty intact - remember that most boiler warranties require you to get your boiler serviced every 12 months.

Do you have a medical condition or disability?
If so, it’s also worth signing up to our Priority Services Register if you’d struggle to get water yourself in an emergency supply interruption (we can deliver water to your door). Find out more about this service here.

How to prepare your home for winter

Wrap it up

In 2018 we had almost 2,000 calls from customers you hadn't lagged their internal pipes and so when it got cold their pipes froze leaving them without water. And although we love to chat to you get ready, wrap up your pipes well in advance of winter. You only need to do it once! It costs about £2 a meter from most DIY shops and if you're on one of our assist plans we'll give you the money back. By following the link below you can find a handy video on how to lag your pipes and how to claim the money back.

Get some provisions in

Following a burst main most people are back in water within less than 3 hours, the majority of which are within the hour. But sometimes it can take longer. And usually we can't pre-warn you to when this might happen. So be ready, get some bottled water and store it in your home. This will keep the kettle full. If it's taking longer to fix we will start looking for an alternative water supply. If you have a child who needs formula then consider having a stock of ready made formula which is available in most supermarkets.

Know where you stop tap is

It is surprising the amount of people that don't know where their stop tap is. If your internal pipes freeze then it may well cause them to leak into your home. If this happens then you need to know where your stop tap is so you can turn off the water as soon as possible. This will ensure less damage is caused until you can get an assured plumber out to fix the problem. Follow the link below for a handy video on how to find your stop tap.

Sign up for extra help and alerts

If you need water for medical reasons or for a number of other reasons you can sign up to be on our priority services register. If there is a burst main than affects you we will contact you and arrange for bottled water to be delivered as soon as possible. You will be our first priority in an emergency situation. Anyone can sign up for alerts of issues that are affecting their postcode through our 'In Your Area' online map.