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.