Every winter, hundreds of litres of water are wasted when frozen pipes burst. Burst pipes can lead to flooding and damage to our network and customer properties. Repairs can be expensive and stressful, but you can avoid them by following some of these simple tips below.

Close up of some grey frozen pipes with ice on top and coming out of the end of the pipe.
Close up of some hands fitting grey insulation around a copper pipe.

Tips to avoid frozen pipes and expensive repairs

  • Know where your main stop valve is – this enables you to turn off the water supply to your home. Usually, this can be found under the sink, or in the garage where the mains supply enters the property.
  • Keep rooms that may not be used that often heated at the lowest setting. This will prevent your pipes and tanks from freezing.
  • Make sure your cold-water tank and pipes are properly insulated – you could save money on your energy bills too!
  • Repair dripping taps and faulty washers.
  • If you’re going to be away for a short period of time, leave your central heating on a low setting to prevent your pipes from freezing.
  • Have the name and phone number of a reputable plumber on hand. You can find a list of plumbers on the WaterSafe website here.
  • Insulate your pipes – An approved plumber can help you do this or you can make your own with insulation and some strong tape. You can also buy pipe lagging from your local DIY store.

What to do if your pipes freeze

  • Turn off the water supply at the stop tap.
  • Check to see if the pipe has burst.
  • Open the affected taps and heat gently with a hair dryer, hot water bottle or towels soaked in hot water.
  • Do not use a blowtorch or anything with a naked flame to thaw the pipe.

Advice on frozen pipes flyer

What to do if your pipes burst

  • Shut off the water at the main stop valve.
  • Turn off your central heating to prevent damage or an explosion.
  • Open all taps to drain water from the system as quickly as possible. When the water stops running turn all the taps off.
  • Contact a WaterSafe approved plumber.

Find a plumber

watersafe 2

Finding a Plumber

If you require plumbing work within your property, we recommend choosing an Approved Plumber. This will give you confidence that the work is of a high standard and will protect the quality of your drinking water.

You can find a local WaterSafe approved plumber here.