Date published: 15 November 2012
United Utilities Winter Wise Roadshow 2012
You don't need to ogle the isobars to know that a winter cold snap will hit us sooner or later.
Yet a third of householders in the North West are not sure how to stop their home's water pipes freezing, according to a report by YouGov on behalf of the Consumer Council for Water.
Now water company United Utilities has launched a Winter Wise campaign to help people stay warm, dry and well-watered.
The company's Winter Wise roadshow will be visiting DIY stores and supermarkets the length and breadth of the North West, giving away more than 100,000 advice packs.
Here are United Utilities' top tips to beat the bursts this winter:
• Find and label your stop tap so you know where to turn the water off if you get a burst
• Lag your pipes so they are much less likely to freeze
• Have a plan - make sure you know the number of a good plumber.
"Our advice is, don't wait for the weather forecast. By the time your pipes freeze it's already too late," said water network manager Scott Beard.
"As most frozen pipes are on customers' own property, there's nothing we can do but give advice.
"Don't get into that pickle. A few simple steps now could keep you and your homes snug all winter. First get your pipes and water tank lagged, especially the ones in lofts or outbuildings, even garages. It's simple and cheap.
"Next, work out where your stop tap is. When pipes freeze they can burst, but you won't know until the ice melts and you get a flood. Being able to switch the water off quickly could prevent a lot of damage. It's often under your kitchen sink.
"Finally have the name of a good plumber ready so you can get everything back to normal as quickly as possible."
Barbara Leech, policy manager, at the Consumer Council for Water added: "Consumers should take advantage of the free pack that United Utilities is offering and follow the advice given. Action now could avoid disruption to homes and businesses from frozen or burst pipes when the cold weather takes a hold.”
United Utilities owns all the water mains in the street, but any pipes in your own home or garden belong to you, even if they're outside.