Scottish Water has warned pipes could become “very vulnerable” during the current cold snap that has left Scotland with snow and freezing temperatures today.
The country could be caught in a snowstorm as the Met Office has issued four-day weather warnings for numerous parts of the country.
Winter weather could damage property and affect roads and now Scottish Water has urged people to ensure their pipes are prepared for the cold spell to avoid bursting and flooding.
According to the National Water Company, the top advice for pipes is to heat, insulate and protect. Here’s how to do just that.
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Modern central heating systems have built-in freeze protection, which turns the boiler on when needed, even when the heating is off.
If your boiler does not have anti-freeze built in, set the heater thermostat to 10°C and the programmer to ‘on’ or 24 hours.
The heating only turns on when the temperature in your home falls below 10°C. As such, it shouldn’t use a lot of energy and could help avoid frozen pipes and expensive repairs.
(Image: Getty Images/Johner RF)
Pipes don’t like the cold – whether outside or inside, made of metal or plastic, new or old. Ensuring that pipes and water tanks are properly insulated is one of the simplest and least expensive things you can do to keep your property safe from the cold.
Make sure there are no gaps at bends, valves or fittings and that you use suitable insulating material. Insulate the condensate line.
Efficient condensing boilers produce a small amount of condensate, which usually drains outside via a plastic pipe.
If this tube becomes clogged with ice buildup, the boiler will stop working. Insulate the plastic pipe with foam pipe insulation to keep it warmer and prevent the condensation from freezing and clogging the pipe.
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When you travel, make sure you have someone who can check for problems on a regular basis.
Dripping water increases the risk of freezing. So have drips or leaks on faucets or valves repaired as soon as you spot them, and reduce drafts by installing draft excluders on doors and windows.
If the property is vacant over the winter, turn off the water supply and drain the system.
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Scottish Water Customer Service Manager Kevin Roy said: “Water mains can be very vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and the freeze-thaw process.”
“With a return to freezing temperatures overnight and slightly warmer temperatures during the day, we are bracing for what could be a busy period.
“As we saw in December, ruptured pipes – particularly those that are the customer’s responsibility – can put additional stress on our supply systems and lead to disruptions.”
“We want all households and businesses to be prepared and alert for any outbreaks.
“We provide a range of resources that allow us to address issues as they arise – but prevention is always a better option.”
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