Top tips for ensuring a winter water supply
As the temperatures begin to drop, Severn Trent Water is gearing up for what could be a very busy cold season.
The company will be bringing in extra resources so that it can cope with any increase in work.
The firm also says it's important for customers to understand how they can look after their own pipework.
Top tips include:
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• Wrap all pipework, fittings and storage tanks in unheated areas of your home (such as lofts, roofs, outbuildings and garages) with insulation. It's very important that there are no gaps in the insulation, even where the pipes bend, to make sure the cold is kept out.
• It's best to use good quality waterproof foam lagging which can be found at your local DIY store.
• If you have outside taps, either insulate them or drain them down to the pipework that links to the tap.
• Don't worry too much about the underground water pipes which lead to your home. These should be buried deep enough to protect them from the frost.
• If you're concerned about your own DIY abilities, a registered plumber can check your household pipes to make sure they're properly lagged and fill in any gaps. Severn Trent has a list of approved plumbers at www.s****er.co.uk/find-a-plumber.
• As temperatures drop, it's worth making sure your heating comes on at regular intervals, even if you're out, to maintain some warmth around your property.
• If you'll be away from home for a few days it's best to turn off your water at the stop tap so that if a pipe does freeze or burst while you're away any damage will be limited.
• Make sure that you and other members of your household know where your stop tap is located so that it can be reached quickly in an emergency, and most importantly, check that it's working properly.
Stop taps are usually located under the kitchen sink, in the garage or in a ground floor utility room or bathroom, near to where the water supply pipe first enters your home. A stop tap isn't used very often and finding that it's stuck or broken when you've had a burst will only complicate the problem. More information and a 'how to' video is available at www.s****er.co.uk/winter.
• If you do have a problem with your water supply this winter, with either low pressure or no water coming out of your taps, first check to see if your neighbours are having similar trouble.
This will help establish if the issue is on Severn Trent's network or on your own supply pipe. If your neighbours' water supply is normal it is likely that you will need to call a plumber.
If more than one household is affected you'll need to ring Severn Trent's 24 hour emergency number to report the problem - 0800 783 4444.