Escape of water advice for the winter

The UK weather is very unpredictable and so far it’s been a mild winter, but now the temperature has dropped, it’s important to keep pipes protected from the cold.

That’s because burst pipes, caused by water freezing and expanding, account for the majority of escape of water claims we receive every winter.

To help your customers avoid this and keep their pipes protected, we’ve produced some simple advice and information that will help them get prepared.

Advice to avoid frozen pipes

    • Ensure water pipes and water tanks are insulated correctly as these exposed pipes are more likely to freeze. If unsure visit your local DIY store for more advice. Also, consider opening your loft hatch as allowing warm air to reach the loft can reduce the risk of the water tank freezing.
    • Keep your heating on for a regular interval each day at a temperature between 12-15 degrees Celsius, especially whilst the home is unoccupied.
    • Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can keep warm air from reaching sinks and adjacent outside walls, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate.
    • Make sure you know where your stop cock is, and check that it works. This can usually be found under the kitchen sink. If you cannot locate then contact a local plumber for advice. Also, think about an electronic stop cock replacement as these can be less prone to sticking.
    • Consider a leak detection and prevention system in your home. Systems are designed to detect excessive flow of water and/or via strategically placed moisture sensors that shut down your water supply.

ABI Advice on what to do if you find your pipes are frozen

  • Turn the water off at the main stopcock and attempt to thaw frozen pipes with a hot water bottle or hairdryer where possible.
  • Switch off your central heating or any other water heating installations and open all taps to drain the system. Ensure that professional repair has been carried out before switching back on.
  • Keep you insurance contact details near to your phone. Please refer to your policy wording / booklet for further information on how to report a claim.