Pro­tect your pipes be­fore cold weather this win­ter

The Oban Times - - PROPERTY -

SCOT­TISH Wa­ter and STV weather fore­caster Sean Batty are urg­ing home­own­ers and busi­nesses to make sure they are win­ter-ready by pro­tect­ing prop­er­ties against freez­ing tem­per­a­tures.

The wa­ter cy­cle can be kept run­ning this win­ter by fol­low­ing a sim­ple code to pro­tect pipes, and pre­vent them be­com­ing frozen dur­ing any cold spells.

Scot­tish Wa­ter’s win­ter cam­paign is launched today and fo­cuses on re­mind­ing prop­erty own­ers that wa­ter pipes can be at risk if the tem­per­a­ture falls be­low freez­ing. A three-step guide can pre­vent the mis­ery, in­con­ve­nience and cost of frozen pipes.

The Scot­tish Wa­ter Win­ter Code ad­vises any­one with a home, hol­i­day home or busi­ness premises to take ac­tion to heat, in­su­late and pro­tect their prop­er­ties, whether the prop­erty is old or new, ahead of any cold weather.

The cam­paign is again sup­ported by weather pre­sen­ter Sean Batty who said: ‘Re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence tells us that we must be pre­pared for all the el­e­ments that can be thrown at us dur­ing the win­ter months. It’s im­por­tant that sen­si­ble and sim­ple ac­tions are taken to pro­tect our homes and busi­nesses against Mother Na­ture.

‘The win­ters of 2009-10 and 2010-11 were char­ac­terised by cold, snowy con­di­tions, which brought nu­mer­ous prob­lems across the coun­try. Since then, we have avoided re­ally cold con­di­tions but in­stead we’ve had milder and stormier weather which, of course, brings its own is­sues.

‘In our most re­cent win­ters, we’ve had more storm and flood dam­age as op­posed to ice and snow. From sum­mer 2016 to sum­mer 2017 only 131 weather warn­ings in to­tal were is­sued by the Met Of­fice for Scot­land, but in the pre­vi­ous year there were 338 is­sued over the same pe­riod.

‘In 2016/17 there were six am­ber warn­ings is­sued com­pared to 34 in 2015/16. So, in the last eight years we’ve had some quiet years, se­vere cold and ice and se­vere storms and floods.’

Scot­tish Wa­ter’s Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Peter Far­rer, said: ‘Any­one who has re­turned to their house or work to find ev­ery­thing an­kle deep in freez­ing wa­ter with car­pets, fur­ni­ture and equip­ment all ru­ined, will know only too well of the mis­ery a burst pipe in win­ter can cause.

‘But by tak­ing ac­tion to heat, in­su­late and pro­tect prop­er­ties, cus­tomers can avoid the con­sid­er­able headache and heartache caused by burst pipes. We want to work with our cus­tomers to en­sure we are all pre­pared for what­ever win­ter weather we get.

‘Pre­vent­ing frozen pipes also means we all play a part in en­sur­ing the wa­ter cy­cle never stops. Wa­ter is a pre­cious re­source and Scot­tish Wa­ter puts a lot of work into keep­ing it that way. Wa­ter pour­ing straight back into the drains as a re­sult of a burst pipe that could have been pre­vented costs us all money.’

The key ad­vice in our win­ter code is: Heat: Warmth of­fers the best pro­tec­tion against frozen pipes, so when tem­per­a­tures are low leave your heat­ing on a low set­ting, or set it to come on a cou­ple of times a day.

In­su­late: Pipes don’t like the cold – whether they are out­door or in­door, metal or plas­tic, new or old. Mak­ing sure pipes and wa­ter tanks are prop­erly in­su­lated is one of the sim­plest, and cheap­est, things which can be done to help pro­tect prop­er­ties from the cold. Make sure that there are no gaps at bends, valves or fit­ting, and that you use a suitable in­su­la­tion ma­te­rial.

Pro­tect: If you are go­ing away, make sure you have some­one who can check reg­u­larly for any prob­lems. Drip­ping wa­ter in­creases the risk of freez­ing, so have any drips or leaks at taps or valves re­paired as soon as you dis­cover them, and re­duce draughts by fit­ting draught ex­clud­ers to doors and win­dows. If the prop­erty is go­ing to be va­cant over win­ter, turn off the wa­ter sup­ply and drain the sys­tem.

Even when your home or prop­erty is win­ter ready some­times dam­ages can hap­pen, so make sure you have ad­e­quate build­ings and contents in­sur­ance.

As prop­erty own­ers pre­pare to close up their cot­tages and cabins for win­ter, Scot­tish Wa­ter is also urg­ing hol­i­day home own­ers to fol­low the win­ter code. If your home or prop­erty is go­ing to be va­cant over the win­ter months, turn off your wa­ter sup­ply and drain the sys­tem – a li­censed plumber will be able to give ad­vice about this.

Other im­por­tant win­ter ad­vice in­cludes tips on find­ing and us­ing your stop valve, keep­ing a small emer­gency pack handy, and be a good neigh­bour and keep an eye out for your neigh­bours in­clud­ing the el­derly and those who might need ad­di­tional sup­port.

VisitS­cot­land is back­ing Scot­tish

Wa­ter’s ad­vice to hol­i­day home own­ers.

Rid­dell Graham, di­rec­tor of part­ner­ships for VisitS­cot­land, said: ‘With its beau­ti­ful land­scapes, world­class at­trac­tions and wide ar­ray of events through­out the year, Scot­land is a fan­tas­tic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion re­gard­less of the sea­son. It is im­per­a­tive that vis­i­tors stay in qual­ity ac­com­mo­da­tion which meets their re­quire­ments.

‘There­fore, dur­ing the colder months, hol­i­day home own­ers must be pre­pared for a sud­den change in tem­per­a­ture to help pre­vent any un­wel­come sur­prises when vis­i­tors ar­rive at their prop­er­ties. Scot­land in win­ter is a won­der­ful time of year and we want ev­ery­one to be able to ex­pe­ri­ence it in the best way pos­si­ble. Prop­erty own­ers need to do what they can to not only meet vis­i­tor ex­pec­ta­tions, but ex­ceed them.’

Scot­tish Wa­ter is also of­fer­ing a free quick re­minder stop valve sticker, where you can write the name and con­tact num­ber of your lo­cal li­censed plumber so that it is handy in case of an emer­gency.

As one of the largest busi­nesses in Scot­land, Scot­tish Wa­ter is also tak­ing steps across its op­er­a­tion to en­sure it is well equipped to con­tinue de­liv­er­ing the best ser­vice it can in the event of a se­vere win­ter. Its em­ploy­ees work around the clock to main­tain drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies to 2.5 mil­lion house­holds and 156,000 busi­ness premises.

Visit­tish­wa­­ter for more win­ter in­for­ma­tion, ad­vice and films.

For the free stop valve sticker : Email cus­tomer­mar­ket­ing@ scot­tish­wa­, or write to Cus­tomer Mar­ket­ing, Free Stop Valve Sticker, PO Box 8855, Ed­in­burgh EH10 6YQ

Fol­low Scot­tish Wa­ter on Twit­ter @scot­tish_wa­ter and Face­book face­­tish­wa­ter and use hash­tag #SWwin­ter

Cus­tomers can also sign up to re­ceive free texts (SMS)* to keep up to date about its work or ser­vice up­dates, such as hav­ing no wa­ter sup­ply, in your area – please text ‘Up­date’ with your post­code to 82228. * For more info and T&Cs visit­tish­wa­­terms.

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