WaterSafe is encouraging gardeners to put disconnecting their hosepipes and insulating outside taps and pipes at the top of their ‘to-do’ list this winter.
After a long, hot summer watering thirsty plants, it’s time to disconnect, drain and put away hosepipes to prevent them from freezing before temperatures drop across the UK.
Disconnecting hosepipes also reduces the risk of ‘backflow’ – when stagnant water is drawn back into a home’s drinking water supply, potentially causing contamination.
The UK register of approved plumbers is also advising homeowners not to neglect outside taps and pipework.
Water which freezes inside unprotected taps and pipes can expand, causing a build-up of pressure that can make them crack and burst, causing costly damage at an already expensive time of the year.
Isolating (shutting off) the outside water supply if possible and draining outside taps will help protect them from frost damage. Fitting an inexpensive insulating tap cover and lagging exposed pipes will also give protection from winter chills.
Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe said: “Jobs such as mulching, pruning and protecting vulnerable plants are usually top of every keen gardener’s list when colder weather sets in. Taking the time to look after your hosepipe by storing it away will help keep it in good condition and ready for the spring.
“We’re reminding everyone to protect their home’s plumbing too and preparing outside taps and pipework for the winter makes a great start.
“If you need help locating the outdoor water shut-off valve, or with any winter plumbing jobs, make sure you use an approved plumber such as one registered with WaterSafe.”
WaterSafe’s advice supports the Met Office’s ‘WeatherReady’ campaign, which encourages everyone to think about what they can do to prepare for and cope with severe weather.
For more winter advice on protecting your plumbing and to find a local, approved plumber visit watersafe.org.uk/winter.