If your home or business suffers a burst pipe during winter, you could be left with no water and a large bill to repair the damage to your property.
You need to be careful in winter not to let your pipes freeze, especially if you are going away.
Firstly check that you are insured for burst pipes - if you are uncertain contact your insurer. As well as checking your insurance, take steps to make sure your pipes don't freeze in the first place by following the simple steps below.
Avoiding frozen pipes
Insulate water tanks and lag pipes
Pay special attention to unheated areas like lofts and garages
Check property's regularly that are empty
Fix dripping taps
Make sure you know where your stopcock is
Has your boiler been serviced?
Minimise drafts from doors and windows
If you are away, leave the heating on low
If properties are empty for a long time turn off the stopcock
Drain outdoor taps and wrap with an outdoor tap jacket
Don't forget about outbuildings and check water supplies and insulation
What to do if a pipe freezes
Turn off the water supply
Check if the pipe has burst
Open affected tap and slowly thaw with hot water bottles or towel soaked in hot water
Never go near with a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw pipe
What to do if a pipe bursts
Turn off the stopcock and boiler
Open all taps to drain system
Call a qualified plumber
If they're near electrics, switch them off at the mains
Turn off the taps once the pipe work is repaired to avoid further flooding
Winter pipe shopping list
Warm jjackets - British Standard tank jackets, that come in a a wide range of tank sizes
Pipe lagging - This comes in 1 meter lengths and is ready-cut down the centre. Choose the right diameter for your pipes.
Strong tape - Sturdy cloth tape or insulation tape will help cover the joins
Tape measure - Check how much insulation you'll need to buy
Sharp scissors - To trim off the excess lagging and help make the joins neat
Wrap the tape - Your outside tap can be protected with a tap jacket or even a towel