Check your water pipes are lagged and outdoor taps are protected – that’s the message from South East Water with temperatures predicted to drop to zero this weekend and the prospect of snowy showers.

Taking action now will help avoid burst water pipes particularly in attics and outside buildings says the company which serves 2.2 million customers across parts of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.  

Also take time to remind family, friends and neighbours to help them prevent further misery and expense cold weather can bring.

Burst pipes are a very unpleasant and inconvenient problem and when they happen inside the home or in the boundary of a property they are usually the home owner’s responsibility to repair.

To prevent a burst water pipe, there are some easy steps to take to protect exposed pipes and taps by lagging them with free insulation kits and tap protectors available to customers from South East Water’s website or by buying industry approved lagging and tap protectors from DIY stores.

An additional winter ready job is to know where the internal stop tap is located and to test it works along with identifying and writing down now the name of a local qualified plumber from online directory WaterSafe which is the plumbing industry’s national accreditation body.  

Steve Andrews, Head of Central Operations, said: ““By insulating hot water pipes and protecting cold water pipes and taps now you will help prevent them from freezing and bursting.

“A very well-insulated pipework system will also help cut down on running costs and save on maintenance.”

The company’s Priority Services Register is available for customers with medical conditions, restricted mobility, additional needs, sight and hearing issues who may need some extra support during a water supply emergency. One of the benefits is the delivery of bottled water during a supply issue.

To sign-up for the Priority Services Register contact the Customer Care team on Freephone 0800 952 4000 or go to

For the winter lagging kit, additional advice and a video on how to protect water pipes go to The name of a qualified plumber can be found at or by calling call 0333 207 9030

Top winter tips:

  • When away leave heating low or drain down systems
  • Insulate pipes, cisterns and tanks. Look for the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) approved insulation
  • Repair dripping taps
  • Inspect loft insulation
  • Make sure the internal stop tap works
  • Check on any elderly neighbours to make sure they are winter ready.
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