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Lag exposed pipes

Simple actions stop winter misery

Lagging exposed water pipes and locating stop taps are just two jobs householders should carry out now to help prevent the misery of flooding in the home.

That is the message from South East Water, which has joined up with the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), the Met Office and WaterSafe to ask customers to take action to get winter ready.

The warning comes after CCWater’s 2014 research revealed that more than half of households in England and Wales admitted to not protecting their pipes from freezing. Young people aged 24 to 35 are the least likely to protect pipework, while a fifth of households have no idea what to do if a pipe freezes in their homes.

The Association of British Insurers says the average insurance claim for a burst water pipe is around £6,500 to £7,500.

Steve Andrews, Head of Service Management at South East Water, said: “It is amazing how many people who contact us about a burst water pipe in the home have no idea where their stop tap is.

“It is essential that everyone finds the stop tap now and checks it is working as being able to turn it off in an emergency will instantly stop water from doing any more damage.

“Cold weather can also affect our network of pipes carrying water from our treatment works to homes and businesses but our dedicated leakbuster teams are out there in all kinds of weather day and night repairing and restoring supplies.”

Mel Harrowsmith, Head of Civil Contingencies at the Met Office, said: “While it’s too early to predict what weather this winter will bring, our Get Ready for Winter web pages provide useful information that helps the UK public to be prepared and safe during the winter months, whatever the weather.”

South East Water has top tips on getting ready for winter on its website including a short film on how to insulate pipes at More general information can be found at

Anyone who spots a leak when they are out and about can report it on 0333 000 3330. For a leak in the home people can find a qualified plumber by logging on to or by calling 0333 207 9030.

Top winter tips:
  • When away leave heating low or drain down systems
  • Insulate pipes, cisterns and tanks with WRAS approved foam
  • Repair dripping taps
  • Check loft insulation
  • Check internal stop tap works
  • Go to for nearest plumber

Article posted on: 11 November 2015

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