As the North East gears up for the much-anticipated cinema release of Disney's Frozen 2, a water company is giving homeowners useful tips on how to keep their homes warm and ‘let it flow' in their pipes this winter.

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Northumbrian Water is encouraging its customers to take simple steps to protect their homes from the misery of frozen and burst pipes this winter, as the cold weather begins to set in.


With temperatures dropping, water pipes are at a greater risk of bursting, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and a whole load of stress and inconvenience.


By taking a few simple precautions now, people can avoid frozen water pipes in their homes in the event of a big freeze.


Jim Howey, Head of Water Networks at Northumbrian Water, said: "We're very excited to see Frozen 2, but if there's one frozen sequel we don't want to see, it would be a repeat of the Beast from the East this winter!


"The cold weather brings problems for pipework and plumbing, and can cause water to freeze inside pipes. When this happens, the frozen water takes up more space inside the pipe than its liquid form, expanding and causing the pipe to split and burst.


"A burst pipe can be catastrophic but it's easy to prevent this from happening by taking action now. Don't head ‘into the unknown' this winter, follow our advice to get your home cold-weather ready and ‘let it flow'!"


Customers can visit Northumbrian Water's website at for a list of tips on how to avoid frozen pipes at home and what to do if a pipe freezes.


For people looking for a local, approved plumber on hand to help them this winter, they can use the WaterSafe online directory at


Changing temperatures can also lead to an increase in the number of burst pipes and leaks on Northumbrian Water's network, as well as its customers' pipework. Customers can report a leak in the street online at or by calling 0800 393 084.


Tips to avoid frozen pipes
  • Insulate water tanks and lag pipes
  • Pay special attention to unheated areas like lofts and garages
  • Check unoccupied properties regularly
  • Fix dripping taps
  • Make sure you know where your stoptap is and that it is working
  • Check that your boiler has been serviced
  • Minimise draughts from doors and windows
  • If you′re off on holiday, leave the heating on low
  • If properties are left empty for a long time, turn off the stoptap
  • Drain outdoor taps and wrap with an outdoor tap jacket


What to do if a pipe freezes
  • Turn off the water supply with the stoptap
  • Check if the pipe has burst
  • Open affected taps and slowly thaw with hot water bottles or towels soaked in hot water
  • Do not thaw frozen pipes with a naked flame or blowtorch


What to do if a pipe bursts
  • Turn off the stoptap and boiler
  • Open all taps to drain the system
  • Check your home insurance, as you may be covered for the repairs under your policy, or you may have a separate home assistance policy to cover leaks on your private water supply
  • If you don't have any insurance cover for fixing leaks, Northumbrian Water may be able to help you pay for the costs of the repair with its 12 month interest free payment option. For a free quote, call the specialist leak repair company, NWG Pipeline Solutions, on 0800 028 3557. You can also visit or call 0333 207 9030, to find an approved, local plumber
  • If water has leaked near electrics, switch the electrics off at the mains
  • Once the pipework is repaired, turn off the taps to avoid further flooding