Be Prepared in Winter
Be Prepared in Winter
Protect your pipes. Heat, Insulate and Protect your home.
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.
Modern central heating systems have frost-protection built in, which will fire up the boiler if needed. If you don’t have frost-protection built in to your boiler, then set the heating thermostat to 10C and the programmer to On or 24h. The heating will only come on if the temperature inside your home drops below 10C, so it shouldn’t use a lot of energy and it could help prevent frozen pipes and expensive repairs.
Do you know where your stop valve is located?
Your stop valve controls the water supply entering your home. It 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.Watch our video here
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.
Make sure that there are no gaps at bends, valves or fittings, and that you use suitable insulation material – a licensed plumber or your local DIY store should be able to give you advice.
If you have a water tank, it should be fitted with an insulation jacket or alternatively, the top and sides of the tank can be wrapped with suitable insulation material. Don’t place loft insulation under the tank, though, as this stops heat from the rooms below helping to keep the tank from freezing.
If you have a condensing boiler, insulate the condensate pipe: efficient condensing boilers produce a small amount of condensate which drains away through a plastic pipe, usually outside. If that pipe gets blocked with a build-up of ice, the boiler will stop working. Insulate the plastic pipe with foam pipe insulation to keep it warmer and prevent the condensate water from freezing and blocking the pipe.
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.
Most modern central heating systems have frost-protection built in: just set your programmer to the holiday setting and it will fire up the boiler if needed.
If your property is going to be vacant over the winter months, turn off your water supply and drain the system – a licensed plumber should be able to give you advice about this. Dripping water and cold draughts both increase the risk of pipes freezing – so have any drips or leaks repaired as soon as you discover them, and reduce draughts by fitting draught excluders to doors and windows.
Even when your home is winter ready sometimes damage can happen, so make sure you have adequate building and contents insurance.