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  • Don't get caught out in the cold

    It’s important to protect your home from cold weather to beat the freeze.

    Before winter starts to bite, you should:

    • find your internal stop tap and check it's working
    • protect pipes in cold areas by covering them with lagging
    • cover your outside tap to protect it from the cold
    • get your boiler serviced
    • keep your heating on low if you go away.

    Don’t forget to have the number of a qualified plumber handy in case of an emergency – Watersafe is an online directory of approved plumbers.

    For weather warnings and advice, see the Met Office.

    Take a look at our cold weather advice videos.

  • Find your stop tap

    Your internal stop tap is usually found under your kitchen sink or in an adjoining garage.

    It's important that you can find your stop tap and that it is working so you can turn off your supply in an emergency.

    If your stop tap isn't working, call a qualified plumber. 

    Lag your pipes

    To prevent a burst in the winter, use lagging to protect pipes in draughty areas such as attics, garages and outbuildings.

    Available from most hardware shops and large DIY stores, lagging is a foam material made to wrap around pipes.

    When lagging your pipes, remember:

    • a 15mm pipe needs 32mm of lagging
    • larger pipes need less - 19mm to 25mm of lagging
    • to cover all joints and bends
    • to keep lagging dry inside and use water proof insulation outside
    • insulation will only delay freezing about eight hours in exposed areas.

    Don't put insulation underneath the storage tank in your loft or attic.

    Frozen pipe advice

    If you think you have a frozen pipe:
    • turn off your internal stop tap - usually found in your kitchen
    • partly turn on any affected taps until the pipes have thawed
    • thaw the frozen pipe using a hot water pipe or warm towels

    Once pipes or the taps have thawed turn on the water supply at the internal stop tap.

    For further help and advice, call a qualified plumber.
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