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Avoid the big freeze steps to avoid frozen and burst pipe problems this winter

Frozen pipes during winter

The ABI is reminding householders to act now to avoid the misery of frozen and burst pipes this winter. An average claim for burst pipe damage is between £6,500 to £7,500, but the risk of expensive, disruptive and distressing damage can easily be reduced by taking a few simple steps now, before the cold weather sets in.

The ABI recommends:

  • 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 of 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:

  • Turn water off at the main stopcock straight away and then wait for it to warm up, or you can try and thaw the pipes with a hot water bottle.
  • If a pipe has burst, turn off water at the stopcock. Switch off central heating and any other water heating installations. Open all taps to drain the system.
  • Contact your insurance company helpline for help and advice, including arranging for professional repairs to be carried out.

Aidan Kerr, ABI’s Head of Property, 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.”

For more information on preparing for cold weather, see:

Last updated 01/07/2016