Wrap up your pipes as well as your presents this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:06 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 11 May 2010

A WATER company is warning about the dangers of freezing pipes this winter. With snow having already affected the region in recent weeks, Veolia Water Three Valleys is encouraging people to check their water pipes so they don t freeze in a cold snap and t

A WATER company is warning about the dangers of freezing pipes this winter.

With snow having already affected the region in recent weeks, Veolia Water Three Valleys is encouraging people to check their water pipes so they don't freeze in a cold snap and the easiest way to protect them is to wrap and insulate the pipes.

Homes and businesses left empty over the upcoming holidays are particularly at risk and should be safeguarded against possible freezing and bursts.

Operations Director Jeff Bishop said: "During the past few months of mild weather, customers have not had to worry too much about frozen pipes but temperatures can drop dramatically in a very short time and the consequences can be both disruptive and upsetting if you are not prepared.

"When pipes freeze overnight you may not even be aware of the damage that has been done. But as soon as they thaw, water can stream from burst pipes in the roof space, flooding and ruining rooms below," he said. To prevent burst pipes:

- Check where your stop taps are to isolate your water supply and that they work;

- Insulate exposed water pipes with felt, pipe wrap or other suitable insulating material and cover any outside pipe or fitting with a waterproof material;

- Make sure your cold water tank is insulated;

- Leave central heating on a frost-protect setting overnight;

- If you are planning on leaving your home or office unattended for long periods, turn off the water supply, outside taps and exposed pipes.

If pipes do freeze, turn off the stopcock to cut the water supply and use a gentle heat source to defrost pipes. Start thawing the pipe near where it enters the house.

If a pipe bursts, turn off the stopcock, leave a tap on to allow the thawed water to escape and contact a qualified plumber. For a list of local qualified plumbers visit www.veoliawater.co.uk/tv

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