A WATER expert is calling on residents in Dumfries and Galloway to get their homes prepared for winter to avoid burst pipes and irreparable damage during Scotland’s coldest months.
With the Met Office reporting temperatures as low as -8C locally last winter, Scottish Water has launched its ‘Be Winter Wise’ campaign sharing simple steps to save water, save money and protect homes.
In 2022 they noted a surge in burst pipes due to rapid thaw, resulting in millions of pounds worth of damage and an additional 250 million litres of water a day pumped into the network.
Brian Lironi, from Scottish Water, said: “If last winter is anything to go by, homeowners, landlords and businesses around the country need to take early action to protect their properties and their pockets this year.
“Something as simple as insulating pipes can have a positive impact on safeguarding homes and workplaces. And reducing the amount of hot water you use, like taking two minutes off your shower, can also help save money too.
“We want everyone to be as prepared as possible to minimise winter’s impact. We want to work with our customers – whether they’re householders or businesses – to ensure we are all ready for cold weather.”
And they have shared six tips to help people prepare for sub-zero temperatures and to prevent problems:
1. Protect your pipes: When temperatures fall below zero, water in pipes expands as it freezes. It then contracts as the temperature rises, which can cause pipes to crack or burst. Insulating pipes and water tanks is one of the simplest and cheapest things that can be done to help protect properties from the cold.
2. Locate your stop valve: If pipes do freeze or burst, you must find and turn off your stop valve immediately. It is often under a sink or near the hot water system. If in doubt, check with a local, licensed plumber.
3. Warm yourself, not the room: Stay cosy with hot water bottles and drinks, but only boil what you need – a full mug boils faster than a full kettle.
4. Save on energy bills: Shorter showers can reduce energy bills and save water. Try taking just two minutes off your shower and save up to £130 off your annual energy bill*.
5. Avoid blocks and floods: Don’t pour fats, oils or grease down the sink – when they cool, they congeal and cause blockages in your pipes, which could lead to flooding. Why not make your own ‘gunk pot’ – www.yourwateryourlife.co.uk/homemade-gunk-pots/
6. Save water and money: Using a dishwasher or washing machine on its eco setting can save you money on energy and save water. Washing full loads make sense too.
Visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter for further advice, information and films.
*Average family of four, Home Energy Scotland, Oct 2022