12:29PM, Monday 10 January 2022
South East Water is offering free pipe lagging and outdoor tap protectors on its website to help prevent burst pipes.
With a cold snap here, the utility company is advising its customers to protect pipes and outside taps now to prevent 'domestic disaster.'
Unprotected water pipes in homes and businesses are at risk of freezing and bursting as the temperature drops which can result in extensive water damage throughout the property.
South East Water says that when burst pipes happen inside the home or in the boundary of a property, they are usually the home owner’s responsibility to repair.
A recent survey by UK plumbing register WaterSafe showed that 51 per cent of people who responded from the South East of England had no idea of what to do in a water pipe emergency.
To help prevent burst pipes, industry-approved pipe lagging and outdoor tap protectors are available free from South East Water’s website or to buy from DIY stores.
Steve Andrews, Head of Central Operations, said:
“By insulating water pipes and outdoor taps now, this will help prevent them from freezing and bursting.
“Locating the internal stop tap is another winter task so water flowing into the property can be immediately shut off if a pipe does burst.
“We are also asking people to spread this message to their family, friends and neighbours to help them avoid further misery and expense cold weather can bring.”
Top advice in the event of a water pipe emergency includes:
• Turn off the water supply coming into the property at the stop tap and switch off the boiler
• Open all taps to drain the system as quickly as possible, saving some water in a bucket for flushing toilets and hand washing. When the water stops running, turn all the taps off
• Soak up escaping water with towels to limit the damage
• Call a WaterSafe approved plumber who is qualified to work on the plumbing system
• If water has leaked near electrics, do not touch them and switch them off at the fuse box
• Contact home insurance company who will advise on what to do next.
For the winter lagging kit, additional advice and a video on how to protect water pipes go to southeastwater.co.uk/winter
The name of a qualified plumber can be found at watersafe.org.uk or by calling call 0333 207 9030.
South East Water customers can get hold of freebies by visiting www.savewatersavemoney.co.uk/southeast/free-water-saving-products.