Drain down the plumbing system

You can do this by following these steps: 

  • Turn off the main water supply stop tap
  • Open all hot and cold water taps
  • Flush all toilet cisterns
  • Drain pipes through drain valves, which should be at the low point of your water system

To prevent damage in severe winter weather, the Repairs Team may be able to drain down and refill the system for you free of charge – you must give a minimum of five working days for this.

Short Breaks in Severe Weather

If you are going away for a holiday during the winter period, it is best to leave your central heating operating at a reduced temperature rather than switching it off.

This is not always easy to do due to the cost of fuel but this can help to prevent pipes from freezing and causing damage to your home and possessions.

  • Make sure your home looks like someone is living in it. Don't close curtains - in daytime this shows the house is empty.  Consider getting automatic timers to turn your lights on when it goes dark
  • Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to look after your home. If they popped round to water your plants or collect mail, it gives the impression someone is living there
  • Don't leave valuables like your TV or stereo where people can see them through the windows
  • Mark valuable items with your postcode and house number using an 'invisible' pen. You can get these from DIY shops and can help the Police identify your items
  • Make sure you have up to date contents insurance
  • Lock garages and sheds and ensure all tools are put away. If you have a ladder outside, put it on its side and lock it to a secure fixture with a padlock and heavy duty chain.