Winter weather advice
Keep your water flowing this winter by following our simple tips below to avoid frozen pipes.


If you have any water pipes or taps that are outdoors, or in cold places such as your garage or loft, they can freeze or burst in cold weather.  This could leave you with no water or flooding to your home, which can be costly to repair the damage.


Tips to avoid frozen pipes

  • Insulate water tanks and lag pipes
  • Pay special attention to unheated areas like lofts and garages
  • Check unoccupied properties regularly
  • Fix dripping taps
  • Make sure you know where your stoptap is and that it is working
  • Check that your boiler has been serviced
  • Minimise draughts from doors and windows
  • If you′re off on holiday, leave the heating on low
  • If properties are left empty for a long time, turn off the stoptap
  • Drain outdoor taps and wrap with an outdoor tap jacket


What to do if a pipe freezes

  • Turn off the water supply with the stoptap
  • Check if the pipe has burst
  • Open affected taps and slowly thaw with hot water bottles or towels soaked in hot water
  • Do not thaw frozen pipes with a naked flame or blowtorch


What to do if a pipe bursts

  • Turn off the stoptap and boiler
  • Open all taps to drain the system
  • Check your home insurance, as you may be covered for the repairs under your policy, or you may have a separate home assistance policy to cover leaks on your private water supply
  • If you don’t have any insurance cover for fixing leaks, we can help you pay for the costs of the repair with our 12 month interest free* payment option. For a free quote, call our specialist leak repair company, NWG Pipeline Solutions, on 0800 028 3557. You can also visit or call 0333 207 9030, to find an approved, local plumber
  • If water has leaked near electrics, switch the electrics off at the mains
  • Once the pipework is repaired, turn off the taps to avoid further flooding

*If you default on the payment plan, the full amount may be due. Terms and conditions apply.

Your shopping list

To give your pipes the best protection from the frosty winter, you’ll need:

  • Warm jackets – British Standard tank jackets come in a wide range of tank sizes
  • Pipe lagging – this comes in one metre lengths and is ready-cut down the centre. Choose the right diameter for your pipes
  • Strong tape – sturdy cloth tape or insulation tape will help cover the joins
  • Tape measure – check how much insulation you’ll need to buy
  • Sharp scissors – to trim off the excess lagging and help make the joins neat
  • Wrap the tap – your outside tap can be protected with a tap jacket or even a towel


Your local DIY store should be able to supply you everything you need.


Teaming up with WaterSafe

Essex & Suffolk Water has joined forces with WaterSafe this winter to encourage customers to “find, check and label” their stop tap.


To request your free label for your stop tap (including the contact details of an emergency WaterSafe-approved plumber) please email