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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 09 November 2011 09:30 AM

Age Cymru is backing a campaign from Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to encourage the public to avoid burst water pipes this winter by protecting their plumbing from freezing temperatures.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s operations director Peter Perry said:

“Wrapping up and keeping warm during the cold months doesn’t just apply to people, it’s what your house needs, too.

“The most important piece of advice that we can give is to lag your water pipes.

“Preparing your pipe work ahead of the cold weather is easy to do; kits are available at most DIY stores and can save people a lot of misery and expense."

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is offering the following advice to the public:

- First, find out where your stoptap is located. It’s often under the kitchen sink. Check it’s working and that you can turn it off in an emergency. If any taps in the house are leaking, get them repaired. Dripping taps can more easily freeze.

- If your property is going to be empty for long periods, you may wish to drain down the plumbing system. To do this, turn off the stop tap and run the sink and bath taps until they run dry. It is important to check with your plumber or central heating engineer that this is the suitable for your particular heating system. If you are just away for a few days, you may choose to keep the heating on low.

- Insulate exposed and external water pipes with pipe lagging material. There’s information on getting a lagging kit via Welsh Water’s website or by calling 0844 324 0844.  Or you can buy insulation materials from DIY and plumbing stores.

- You can also insulate your water tank in the loft and any exposed pipes. Even if you have to call a professional in to do the insulation, it could still be a lot cheaper than clearing up after a pipe bursts.

To help raise awareness of the need to lag their water pipes amongst older people, who may also need help from family, friends and neighbours to install pipe lagging kits, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has partnered with Age Cymru, the charity for older people in Wales, working nationally and at local levels.

Age Cymru’s Chief Executive, Robert Taylor, says:

“As a charity we always advise older people to prepare for winter by making sure their heating system works properly and having enough food in their home to survive a cold snap. 

"This latest piece of advice on lagging pipe work is an excellent one to add to the ‘winter checklist’ for older people. 

"Flooding not only damages properties but it can also be particularly dangerous for an older person. 

"Flooding can also be emotionally damaging for older people especially if they lose irreplaceable photographs and other treasured family mementos.

"If anyone is unsure what to do we would urge them to seek help from a relative, friend, neighbour or a local charity to make sure they are fully prepared for winter.”

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444