Severn Trent is encouraging customers to start wrapping… their pipes. With temperatures set to dip again this week, the water and waste company is advising customers to take steps to ensure their pipes don’t freeze this winter.
Cold weather can wreak havoc on water pipes – when water freezes it expands, putting more pressure on pipes and joints, which can cause pipes to split or joints to pull apart. But there are a few easy ways to prepare your home for winter:
· Wrap all pipework, fittings, and storage tanks in unheated areas of your home (such as lofts, roofs, outbuildings and garages) with insulation. It’s best to use good quality waterproof foam lagging which can be found at your local DIY store.
· If you have outside taps, either insulate them or drain them down to the pipework that links to the tap. Don’t worry too much about the underground water pipes which lead to your home. These should be buried deep enough to protect them from the frost.
· As temperatures drop, it’s worth making sure your heating comes on at regular intervals, even if you’re out, to maintain some warmth around your property.
· Make sure that you and other members of your household know where your stop tap is located so that it can be reached quickly in an emergency, and most importantly, check that it’s working properly. Stop taps are usually located under the kitchen sink, in the garage or in a ground floor utility room or bathroom, near to where the water supply pipe first enters your home. A stop tap isn’t used very often and finding that it’s stuck or broken when you’ve had a burst will only complicate the problem.
· Registered plumbers can also check household pipes to make sure they’re properly lagged and fill in any gaps. Severn Trent supports watersafe.org.uk – a dedicated online search facility for qualified and approved plumbers.
Head of Water Networks, Paul Baxter, said: “Many of our customers may not realise that Severn Trent is only responsible for the water mains and service pipes in the public highway. Anything inside the property boundary is the responsibility of the homeowner.
“We want our customers to avoid what could be a lot of heartache and expense if their home is affected by burst pipes. So, before you turn your attention to your Christmas wrapping, why not spend an hour or so lagging external pipes around your property.”
If you do have a problem with your water supply this winter, with either low pressure or no water coming out of your taps, first check to see if your neighbours are having similar trouble. This will help establish if the issue is on Severn Trent’s network or on your own supply pipe. If your neighbours’ water supply is normal it is likely that you will need to call a plumber.
If more than one household is affected, you’ll need to ring Severn Trent’s 24 hour emergency number to report the problem