Be ready to react to a frozen pipe

With winter temperatures dropping, we are reminding customers how to reduce the risk of frozen pipes and unwanted leaks in the home.

Turning off the stop tap – normally found under the kitchen sink, in an airing cupboard or garage – shuts off a property’s water supply, minimising the damage if a pipe should freeze and burst.

As well as urging people to locate and test their stop tap, we are recommending homeowners lag exposed pipes in lofts and other draughty areas before it turns even colder.

A spokesperson said: "Finding and testing your stop tap is a sensible first port of call. It can be closed by turning it clockwise, and testing it regularly means it won’t seize up.

"Doing this now could take away some of the stress in an emergency, although it’s equally important to keep pipes warm with lagging to prevent them from freezing and bursting in the first place.

"The last thing anyone needs when temperatures drop is to be dealing with the consequences of a burst pipe, including being without water and heating."

We have repaired nearly 16,000 leaks in the last year alone. Around 70% of these were on our own pipework, with the remainder on homeowners' private supply pipes.

We have also reduced leakage on our network by 30% since 2000 and are on track to achieve a further 15% reduction by 2025.

Find out more about how to prepare your home for cold weather.