Plumbers' winter warning to
avoid costly bills from burst water pipes and flooding this Christmas
WATERSAFE, who are the UK body for
approved plumbers, is urging homeowners in Merseyside to wrap up their homes
this Christmas to avoid frozen and burst water pipes putting a damper on
festivities. The national accreditation body, which is backed by water
companies including United Utilities, is supporting the Met Office's 'Get
Ready for Winter' campaign. The campaign includes advice on keeping
homes warm and safe during the festive season and beyond.
Derrick Ryall, Executive Head of Public Weather Services at the Met Office,
said:- "People in the UK are resilient and severe winter weather is
something we're all used to, so we sometimes underestimate its impact on our
everyday lives. Our research shows that many people are too relaxed, however,
and are confused about what they need to do to prepare. This is why we have
created the comprehensive winter checklist, so households can ensure they are
fully prepared this winter."
As temperatures drop below zero degrees, frozen and burst water pipes can cause
flooding, damage and leave homes without water. New figures from the Association
of British Insurers say claims to repair a burst water pipe can reach ₤7,500.
Despite this, new Met Office research shows that 75% of people it surveyed are
unsure if their pipes are insulated and protected against freezing.
WaterSafe is advising homeowners to check water pipes in draughty areas such as
attics and garages and outside taps. If they aren't wrapped in lagging (a foam
material designed to prevent freezing) it's time to act. Insulating pipes not
only protects them from winter weather but keeps the heat in, saving money too.
WaterSafe is also encouraging homeowners to fix leaky taps before temperatures
drop, as even a trickle can result in a frozen tap. Dealing with leaks as soon
as you discover them is also an important water-saving measure as every drop
counts. Fixing a dripping tap could save 5,500 litres of water a year, not to
mention ₤18 off water bills.
Top tips for a winter ready home include:-
► Make sure you know where your stop tap is and check it's working.
► Make sure all pipes in unheated areas and outside taps are insulated.
► Fix any dripping taps or toilet cisterns – this will also save water.
► Check your central heating boiler has been serviced.
► If you're going away, consider leaving your heating on and set the
thermostat to 14°C. Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your property.
► Keep the name and number of a WaterSafe approved plumber to hand for
Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe said:- "Knowing where your stop tap
is, so you can turn off the water quickly if a pipe freezes or bursts, is
essential. However, 'prevention is better than cure' so following our tips now
will help homeowners enjoy peace of mind and a safe festive period during colder
weather. If you're not confident about insulating water pipes or fixing dripping
taps yourself, a WaterSafe recognised plumber can help and offer advice."
To find your nearest approved plumber use the postcode search at:-
or call:- 0333 207 9030. You can also get further advice on getting homes winter
ready on that WaterSafe website.
Find out more about the wider:- 'Get Ready for Winter' campaign,
which is run by the Met Office on behalf of the Cabinet Office. More
information about the campaign can be found on the Met Office