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Avoid disruption and repairs this winter: it’s time to get winter ready

With the cold weather well and truly here, Bristol Water are appealing to customers to take some small and simple steps to help protect home pipes from bursting.

According to the Association of British Insurers, the average household burst could set you back £8,800 as well as interrupting your water supply while we’re in lockdown.

Richard Price, Chief Operations Officer at Bristol Water, said: “Bursts are more likely to happen when it’s cold as it causes pipes to contract and expand.

“Fortunately taking some small steps now can help avoid a loss of water supply, damage to your home and hefty repair bills. This is all the more important while we’re in lockdown and spending more time at home.”

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.

Just like we need our winter coat, so do your outdoor pipes. You can buy pipe lagging in any good DIY store for a couple of pounds a meter and it’s easy to install.

“We’ve included our top winter ready tips below.”

Bristol Water’s W-I-N-T-R ready tips:

  1. Wrap outdoor pipes with lagging
  2. Inspect outdoor taps – fix drips
  3. Not cold? Keep the heating on low to prevent pipes freezing
  4. Tap: finding your Stop Tap now is better than trying to find it in a burst 
  5. Regularly service your boiler

Find out more at

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.

According to the water industries regulator, Ofwat, around 85% of bursts across the UK happened on customers own pipes during the big freeze of March 2018.

It’s also worth signing up for Bristol Water’s Priority Services Register if you have a medical condition or disability which would make it hard to access water in an emergency interruption to your supply. Find out more:

Just like bursts are more common in your home during the winter months we often see more bursts on our network too. You can also always check out ongoing jobs in your area here