Get your home winter ready
A burst water pipe and flooding in the home is a nightmare at any time of the year, but in winter it can be catastrophic – leaving people without water and heating and facing hefty repair bills.
Predicting when temperatures will plummet is no easy task, so Wessex Water is urging customers to act now and take simple steps to protect their homes and gardens.
We've drawn up a checklist of 10 jobs for the home and garden (below) to help ensure our customers don't get caught cold.
1. Find your stop tap: Do you know where your stop tap is, what it does and if it’s working? The stop tap turns off your water supply and should be closed if a pipe bursts in your home. Most stop taps are fitted under the kitchen sink and can be closed by turning clockwise.
2. Lag your pipes: You should insulate your water tank and lag the pipes in unheated areas like your loft or garage. Measure lagging carefully to make sure there are no gaps at bends, valves or fittings. Wear gloves as the material can cause skin irritation.
3. Cover your outside tap: Water and frost proof covers are an effective way of protecting your outside tap from the cold. These are available from DIY stores.
4. Emergency contact: Keep the name and number of a qualified WaterSafe plumber handy in case of emergencies.
5. Fix dripping taps: Even the smallest trickle can result in a frozen pipe. Fix dripping taps or overflows to protect your home – and save water.
6. Keep the heating on low if you’re going away or your home is likely to be unoccupied for long periods.
7. Service your boiler and central heating regularly to check you have adequate insulation in your roof.
8. Bleed your radiators regularly to release trapped air and place foil behind them to reflect heat back into the room.
9. Scoop up leaves from your guttering to ensure they are draining properly.
10. Drain and clean your water butt so it's ready to fill up with winter rain.
We're continuing our programme of repairing leaks and renewing ageing pipes on our network, while investment in a multi-million water supply grid means water can be transferred to where it’s needed most when extreme weather strikes.
And, in the event of a supply outage, there is extra support available for customers who require constant access to water due to health or additional needs. Visit wessexwater.co.uk/priorityservices