As temperatures start to fall, Southern Water is urging homes and businesses to ‘wrap up for winter’ to avoid the misery of frozen and burst water pipes.
The company has teamed up with the Met Office, Channel 4 and Waterwise to launch its winter campaign alongside the premiere of the film The Snowman and his Snowdog, the sequel to the children’s classic cartoon The Snowman.
Cold weather in winter can cause water in pipes and tanks to freeze, leading to the inconvenience and expense of bursts, floods, broken boilers and damage to homes and businesses.
Lagging pipes and water tanks, fixing dripping taps and being aware of where the stop tap can be found and switched off can help avoid the expense of bursts.
Meyrick Gough, Water Strategy Manager at Southern Water, said: “Freezing conditions in winter can lead to frozen and burst pipes and we want to help our customers avoid the misery of burst pipes this season.
“It’s easy to protect against this with a few simple steps to ‘wrap up’ your home or business and now is a good time to do this before the cold temperatures set in. We’re also playing our part as our leakage team work round the clock to find and repair water leaks on our 13,600 kilometres of water mains.”
Southern Water is working in partnership with Waterwise, Channel 4 and the Met Office to promote tips to keep warm and dry during winter and avoid water waste.
To prevent frozen pipes, customers are advised to:
• Insulate water pipes and lag tanks – lagging can be purchased from all good DIY stores
• Fix leaks and dripping tanks
• Check boilers have been serviced
• Close doors and windows in unheated areas
• Keep a separate supply of drinking water for possible emergencies
• Some customers’ energy suppliers have lagging deals on offer
To read our step-by-step guides on ‘How to prevent frozen pipes’ and ‘what to do if a pipe bursts’, visit www.southernwater.co.uk/winter.
General information on getting ready for winter can by found on the Met Office website at www.metoffice.gov.uk/getreadyforwinter.
Top Tips for freezes and bursts
If a pipe freezes:
• Turn off the water supply at the stopcock
• Check to see if the pipe has burst
• Open the affected tap. Slowly thaw the pipe with hot water bottles or a towel soaked in hot water, starting at the end nearest the tap
• Never use a naked flame, hair-dryer or blowtorch to thaw the pipe
• Don’t leave taps dripping or running as the water may not drain down the plughole if the pipe below is frozen
If a pipe bursts:
• Turn off the stopcock and boiler
• Open all taps to drain the system quickly
• Soak up/block off escaping water with thick towels
• Call a qualified plumber. Local water industry recommended plumbers can be found at www.wras.co.uk/WIAPS
• If water has leaked near your electrics or into any electrical appliances, switch them off at the mains
• Turn off taps once pipe work is repaired to avoid further flooding
• If you have your own plumber, make a note of their name and number on our leaflet so you have it handy in an emergency
*The Snowman and The Snowdog is the sequel to the children’s classic The Snowman, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary and has been made by Channel 4. It is being shown on our screens this Christmas and features a new character, the Snowdog. The sequel is set in the present day and the Walking in the Air theme is replaced by a new score. The original Snowman book was written by Raymond Briggs.
**Waterwise is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which is the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK. Find out more at www.waterwise.org.uk.
***Southern Water currently has one of the lowest leakage levels per property of all the water and sewerage companies in the UK. We welcome support from the public in our leak-busting work by reporting any busts or leaking pipes in the streets on our freephone Leakline on 0800 820999.