Temperatures take a tumble

As the cold weather starts to bite, our simple tips will help you keep your home cosy and free from costly pipe bursts. 

Find your stop tap – and check that it works

You may need to get to it quickly and be confident that you can turn it off should you need to.

Takes about 5 mins

Fix dripping taps

Fix a regularly dripping tap could prevent the slow build up of water freezing and blocking your pipes. If you need help, check the WaterSafe website to find an approved plumber near you. 

Takes about 30 mins

Use the frost setting on your central heating - or leave it on low when you’re out or away

Insulation is priority number one, but low-level background heating can stop pipes freezing, particularly if the property is empty. Check with your energy company to make sure you are on the most appropriate tariff. 

Takes about 5 mins

Stop draughts

Cold air from outside freezes pipes inside, so cover any gaps in doors and windows.

Takes about 5 mins

Check outdoor taps

These can be most vulnerable to the cold weather, so remove any hose attached to outside taps, and – if you have one – turn off the valve (which may be inside) and drain down the tap and pipes. This stops them becoming damaged and cold creeping up the pipe into your house.

Takes about 10 mins

Let warm air flow

In extreme conditions it may be necessary to open the loft hatch to help keep pipes and tanks up there from freezing.

Takes about 5 mins

Check your meter

If your water meter is fitted to the wall outside your home, check that the pipes leading to and from it are:

  • adequately insulated and there are no gaps between them
  • that the meter cupboard is packed with insulation material
  • and that the door is firmly shut

Takes about 20 mins


Check the insulation of outbuildings and, if possible, isolate water supplies to outside toilets, detached garages and outbuildings if they are not in use. Consider turning off the valve for the supply to outbuildings, and draining down taps and pipes.

Takes about 20 mins

Don't forget family, friends and neighbours. They may need some help too and you could agree to watch each other’s houses if you’re going to be away for any period of time.