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Severn Trent advice after weather warning

Created on 24/11/2010 @ 13:39


The Met Office says colder weather is on its way across the area – and Severn Trent is encouraging its local customers to take steps now to make sure their water pipes don’t freeze.
The experts are forecasting a big drop in temperatures from Thursday, with widespread overnight frosts, and it’s this kind of weather, says Severn Trent, that can cause problems for customers and their water supplies.
“People can take some simple steps now to make sure their pipes don’t freeze up,” said Fraser Pithie, senior operations manager, Severn Trent Water.  “Think about lagging your water pipes, by wrapping foam or a similar material around them to insulate them, particularly where they are exposed in roof spaces and next to outside walls.
“The problems freezing weather can cause usually aren’t apparent until the thaw sets in, and by then the damage has been done. It’s then that bursts happen. But by taking steps now to check and protect pipework, you can reduce the risk.
“If your pipes do become frozen, check them for any signs of splitting. If you spot any damage, call a plumber. If you don’t get the pipes repaired when frozen, it’s highly likely that you will suffer from flooding once the water thaws.”
The water company is also advising landlords, or people planning to be absent from their property for any length of time, to check their premises carefully and make sure they’re ready for the cold snap.
“Now’s the time to carry out a visual inspection of the internal pipework for any signs of wear and tear – and get any problems fixed by a plumber,” said Fraser. “If you know the property is going to be empty for a while, turn off your water stop cock, and drain down the system so if there should be a problem while you’re away, you won’t come home to a flooded building.”
Customer check list
Lag your pipes by wrapping foam or a similar material around them to insulate them
Check for visible signs of damage to pipework – get any visibly problems attended to
A towel wrapped round external pipework can help
Locate your water stopcock now and make sure all your family members know where it is too
Think about your neighbours or less-able relatives/friends – can you help them take a few preventative measures? 
Frozen pipes? Try turning the cold water tap nearest to the internal stop tap on, so that it is in a position of what would usually be slow flow. (The internal stop tap is usually found under your kitchen sink.) Use a hair-dryer at its lowest setting and gently move the appliance so the heat flows around the internal stop tap area. It will also help if you occasionally turn the internal stop tap on and off fully, to clear any blockages. Remember – pipes should be thawed slowly and carefully. Make sure that you turn off both the stop tap and cold water tap when you have finished this exercise, and be sure to unplug and remove the hairdryer when you have finished.
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