Get ready for winter, advises South West Water
3rd December 2014
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According to research conducted by The Consumer Council for Water, in 2013 only 46 per cent of water customers took steps to avoid frozen pipes – down from 55 per cent in 2012(1). Young people aged 24 to 35 are most at risk of not being properly prepared, while one in five water customers have no idea what to do if a pipe freezes in their home (2).

To safeguard your home, South West Water is urging customers to act now to ensure pipes are wrapped up in their winter woollies before the icy weather arrives and is offering advice on its website for a problem-free winter.  The company’s top ten tips are:

  1. Know where your internal stop tap is and how to turn it off.
  2. Check existing insulation and replace areas showing wear and tear
  3. Fully lag all pipes if possible but especially those in unheated areas such as lofts, garages or gardens
  4. Get advice about insulation thickness from the experts at a DIY store
  5. Isolate and drain outside taps
  6. On very cold days, leave the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate and prevent pipes from freezing
  7. If you go away for a few days, ask a friend to visit and keep watch for leaks
  8. If you go away for an extended period of time, leave your central heating on a low setting
  9. Cold water tanks should be insulated on all sides but not underneath to allow warm air to circulate
  10. Keep the contact details of a reputable plumber to hand.

South West Water’s Head of Drinking Water Services, Guy Doble, said: “We want to remind customers that when they start thinking about digging out their hats, scarves and gloves then it’s time to ensure their home is wrapped up for winter too.

Any big freeze is followed by a thaw and homeowners and businesses can be left counting the cost if their pipes burst after periods of sub-zero temperatures. There are a number of simple steps which can help prevent problems, such as lagging your pipes, which will help reduce the risk of this happening and safeguard your water supply.”

Find out more information on how to protect your pipework, visit

For more information, contact the Communications Team on 01392 443020.

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