After being spoilt with warmer weather in early October, the last few weeks have been noticeably cooler and the water company has warned customers that as the dark nights start drawing in, there is a greater risk of pipes freezing or bursting.
Research carried out by the Association of British Insurers showed that a burst pipe could cost on average a massive £8,800 to fix – a cost that certainly would not be welcomed over the Christmas period, and which can be easily avoided by taking simple actions around the home.
Jim Howey, Head of Water Networks at Northumbrian Water, said: “For many of our customers, being left with no water and no heating is terrifying. As well as that, residents can be landed with a hefty bill - especially when we are gearing up towards some of the most expensive months of the year.
“The easiest thing a customer can do to protect their property is to familiarise themselves with the stop tap, so that if an emergency hits they can act fast and isolate any bursts.
“If pipes become frozen, warm towels or hot water bottles can be wrapped around the pipe to help thaw the ice.
“These are just some of the easy and cost-effective things out customers can do to avoid being hit with such ghastly costs.”
The water company also advised that hairdryers or pipe lagging can also ease the freeze, however naked flames or blowtorches should never be used.
In the event of a burst, residents are asked to visit www.watersafe.org.uk 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 and temperature shifts can cause the ground to shift and leads to pipe damage, so leaks can be reported here - visit www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk/leaks or call 0800 393084 for more urgent leaks.
For more water-saving tips, visit - www.nwl.co.uk/winter