Prepare your pipes for the latest cold spell

A burst pipe can be a costly business

A burst pipe can be a costly business - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With snow expected to hit Hertfordshire overnight, we’re all being urged to protect our water pipes.

According to the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), less than half of households in England and Wales are likely to have taken steps to protect their property’s pipes from the threat of freezing weather.

A frozen or burst pipe can be a costly business, leaving homeowners with an average insurance claim of £6,500 to £7,500.

Alan Lovell, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Burst pipes can cause devastating damage to our homes, which is why prevention is so important.”

“Lagging exposed water wipes is a simple and relatively cheap way of giving you peace of mind, no matter how cold things get this winter.”

Here are CCWater’s six steps to reducing the risk of a pipe freezing:

-Get your pipes and water tanks insulated.

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-Find your stop tap – being able to turn the water off quickly could save a lot of damage.

-Insulate outside taps or turn them off at the stop tap and drain the water from them.

-Fix any dripping taps or overflows. A build-up of ice can cause a blockage.

-Get contact details of a good plumber, just in case.

-Leave your heating on low if you go away for a few days, and set it to come on at least once every day.

For more advice on how to stay warm and safe this winter visit the Met Office’s Get ready for winter website at