Research has shown that Essex and Suffolk residents could face thousands of pounds worth of unnecessary costs if their household pipes aren't properly maintained and protected this winter.

Essex & Suffolk Water are challenging customers to "Beat the Freeze", and have shared their top tips on how avoid costly pipe damage during the chilly months ahead.


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According to the Association of British Insurers, a burst pipe could cost on average a whopping £8,800 to fix.


As the colder days start drawing in, there is a greater risk of pipes freezing or bursting - which could not only cost a small fortune in the run up to Christmas, but could also leave residents without hot running water.


Homeowners are encouraged to familiarise themselves with their stop-tap, so if an emergency hits, they can act quickly and efficiently by isolating the water to their own home.


In the event of frozen pipes, the water company are suggesting that warm towels or hot water bottles should be wrapped around the pipe to help thaw the ice.


Hairdryers or pipe lagging can also ease the freeze, however naked flames or blowtorches should never be used.


Ross Beckwith, Head of Water Networks at Essex & Suffolk Water said: "As we prepare to spend more time at home this winter than ever before, we really want to make sure that our customers are well-equipped to beat the freeze.


"With many of the population still working from home, and scores of people still self-isolating or shielding, it is so important for our customers to maintain their pipes to minimise the risk of losing hot running water.


"If customers follow our simple tips, then it will significantly minimise the risk of frozen pipes or bursts."


Essex & Suffolk Water have also shared tips on how to keep the cost of bills down during the most expensive months of the year.


Tom Andrewartha, Customer Service Manager added: "Putting the kettle on is usually one of the first things people do to warm up - so we are encouraging our customers save water, energy and money by only boiling the amount of water needed for their hot drink."


"Swapping a long soak in the bath for a steaming shower is also a good way of keeping bills to a minimum. By showering instead, customers can save up to 30 litres of water each time, which is the equivalent of putting two dishwasher-loads on."


In the event of a burst, residents are asked to visit or call 0333 207 9030, to find a Water-Safe-approved local plumber.


The water company are also asking the public to help spot outdoor leaks. Extreme cold weather can cause pipe damage, so leaks can be reported here - visit or call 0800 393084 for more urgent leaks.


For more water-saving tips, visit -