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Be prepared in winter

Winter campaign image
From drinking, brushing, cleaning or flushing, water plays an important part in everyone's daily life.  To help be prepared during cold weather, we believe the best way to help prevent frozen or burst pipes is to follow our helpful advice on how to heat, insulate and protect your home, so we can all play our part to keep the water cycle running - it's your water, your life.

Advice on how to protect your pipes this winter

Find your stop valve


Your stop valve controls the water supply entering your home.  Do you know where your stop valve is located? Your stop valve normally closes by turning clockwise and we recommend that you check this every few months to ensure that it can be opened and closed easily. An example of where a stop valve can be located can be viewed by clicking on our how to find your stop valve film.


Follow our winter code


When temperatures are low, leave your heating on a low setting, or set it to come on a couple of times a day.

Pipes don’t like the cold – whether they are outdoor or indoor, metal or plastic, new or old.  Making sure pipes and water tanks are properly insulated is one of the simplest, and cheapest, things you can do to help protect your property from the cold. To find out more, watch our short film about insulation.


Why not try out the easy-to-use pipe insulation tool available here.

If you're going away then make sure you have someone who can regularly check for any problems.If your neighbours don’t have a key for your home make sure they have contact details for someone who does in case of an emergency.

Read more tips in our protect your pipes leaflet.

Licensed plumbers


We would always recommend the use of licensed plumbers. Scottish Water supports and promotes the WaterSafe scheme. 

Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) runs the Plumbing Industry Licensing Scheme and this is part of WaterSafe. 

To find a licensed plumber in your area visit WaterSafe at or SNIPEF at

Scottish Water is not responsible for burst or frozen pipes in your home or that lie within your property boundary. We recommend you contact a licensed plumber to fix problems with pipes in your home, find out where your pipework responsibility starts and ours stops here.

Watch our helpful short films on advice on what to do if you a pipe freezes or if a pipe bursts.

The Home Energy Scotland hotline

The Scottish Government's Home Energy Scotland hotline offers our customers advice. This one-stop shop offers information on all Scottish Government home energy initiatives and help and expert advice on how to save energy and money in the home. For example, most Scottish homes don't have enough insulation and need to top up. Find out more about discounted or even free insulation offers by contacting the Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 or visit their website here.

Are you now ready for winter?

Whether at home, in the community or out on the road, we all need to consider how we, and the people we live and work with could be affected. Taking action now will help make Scotland better prepared. Visit for more information and advice.

Free Stop Valve Sticker

Contact us to get a quick reminder sticker on which you can write the name and number of your licensed plumber so you've got it handy for an emergency.

Write to Brand & Marketing, Free Stop Valve Promotion, PO Box 8855, Edinburgh, EH10 6YQ; or email quoting Free Stop Valve Promotion, giving us your name and full address (we can only send one sticker per household. This is only available in Scotland).