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Avoid frozen and burst pipes this winter

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Avoid frozen and burst pipes this winter

The Met Office has predicted a colder than average winter, so the Association of British Insurers is urging householders to act now to avoid frozen and burst pipes this winter.

Damage caused burst pipes can be expensive, disruptive and distressing, but can be reduced by taking a few simple steps now, before the winter really sets in, said the ABI.

The insurance trade body has offered its top tips to avoid the misery of leaks and frozen pipes:


  • Keep your heating on at regular intervals and make sure to set it on a timer if you’re going away
  • Make sure that water pipes and water tanks in the loft are insulated with good quality lagging
  • Know where your stopcock that turns off the incoming water supply is, and make sure that it works
  • Repair any dripping taps. This will help prevent water from freezing.

If your pipes freeze the ABI recommends that you turn water off at the main stopcock straight away and then wait for it to warm up or you can try to thaw the pipes with a hot water bottle. If a pipe has burst, turn off the water at the stopcock. Switch off central heating and any other water heating installations. Open all taps to drain the system.

Laura Hughes, ABI’s policy adviser for General Insurance said: “Every winter, damage caused by burst pipes is widespread and expensive. Prevention is better than cure and a few simple steps can reduce the risk of facing the trauma of frozen or burst pipes during the winter. Home insurance will pay for the often costly damage caused by burst pipes, but it cannot compensate for the misery and inconvenience that they bring.”

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