With temperatures predicted to plummet and snow on its way, homes and business premises should be urgently checked for unprotected water pipes and outdoor taps says a water company.

South East Water, which has 2.2 million customers across parts of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, says unlagged water pipes in cold unheated places such as attics, can freeze and then burst when the thaw happens causing untold damage.

Steve Andrews, Head of Operations at South East Water said: “Burst pipes are a very unpleasant and inconvenient problem and when they happen inside the boundary of a property are usually the responsibility of the householder to repair.

“To avoid a burst water pipe, home owners can take some easy steps to protect pipes and taps by lagging them with industry approved lagging from DIY stores.”

Another cold snap ready job is to know where the internal stop tap is located and for people to test it works so the water can be turned off quickly if there is an emergency.

In addition, identifying and writing down now the name of a local qualified plumber can save valuable time in an emergency. The online directory WaterSafe is the plumbing industry’s national accreditation body and has a list of approved plumbers.  

For the advice and a video on how to protect water pipes go to www.southeastwater.co.uk/winter The name of a qualified plumber can be found at watersafe.org.uk or by calling 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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