With temperatures dropping and reports of colder weather to come later this month, Northumbrian Water is urging customers to wrap up their homes to protect themselves against the misery of frozen or burst pipes this winter.

By taking a few simple precautions now, people can protect their homes to prevent potential damage, stress and expensive repairs in the event of a big freeze.


To prevent pipes from freezing in the home -


• 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 stopcock is
• Check that your boiler has been serviced
• Minimise draughts from doors and windows
• If you are away, leave the heating on low
• If properties are unoccupied for a long time turn off the stopcock
• Drain outdoor taps and wrap with an outdoor tap jacket
• Remember garages and outbuildings, and check water supplies and insulation.


David Aland, Head of Customer & Network Services for Northumbrian Water said: "We all need to wrap up warm when the temperatures drop, but remember your home feels the cold too! By taking a few simple precautions you can keep your home frost free and avoid costly plumbing bills from frozen or burst pipes."


If pipes do freeze:


• Turn off the water supply.
• Check if the pipe has burst.
• Open affected tap slowly and thaw with a hairdryer, hot water bottles or towel soaked in hot water.
• Frozen pipes should never be thawed with a naked flame or blowtorch.


You can further tips, advice and instructional videos by visiting https://www.nwl.co.uk/your-home/your-services/Beat-the-freeze.aspx.


Customers looking for a local, approved plumber to help them this winter are advised to use one that is Watersafe approved - just visit www.watersafe.org.uk and use the online search function.


If you spot a leak in the street you can report it quickly and easily by using Northumbrian Water′s new interactive online map - www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk/leaks. You can also use the map to check if a leak has already been reported, and track the progress of repairs.