Don’t get caught out by burst water pipes this Christmas

As part of your Christmas preparations don’t forget to protect your home from a cold snap over the festive season.

Water firm, United Utilities, is giving away free pipe lagging and outdoor tap jackets to help customers avoid the misery of a wet and costly winter.

The giveaways have been announced as new research, commissioned by Water UK, reveals that nearly a quarter of the UK public do nothing to prepare for winter, leaving themselves at risk of damage to pipes and potential internal flooding or water damage.

The survey also shows that a third of the UK public wouldn’t know where to locate their stop tap in an emergency, leaving them exposed to freezing and bursting pipes (freeze-thaw) as the temperature drops. A stop tap (or stopcock) is a small tap on your water pipe which turns off the water supply to your property – it is often found under the kitchen sink.

Lauren Kelly of United Utilities says: “Freeze-thaw can cause water pipes to burst when periods of very cold weather are followed by a rapid period of warming.

“Pipe damage can be very disruptive and expensive to repair but taking simple measures such as lagging your pipes and servicing your boiler regularly can help avoid it.”

This year the water firm is running adverts on regional radio stations spreading its winter-wise messages and targeting its efforts to domestic and business customers and people on its Priority Services Register.

The radio adverts will be supported by magazine advertorials, YouTube clips and social media messaging including sponsored posts by Instagram influencers to make sure people in the North West are #WinterReady.

Lauren adds: “We know that lots of businesses have had a really challenging time over the last two years due to Covid restrictions. Many may also be closed over the Christmas break and, as the temperature falls, if pipes are not protected, even short periods of very cold weather can increase the risk of water pipes freezing and bursting. The last thing any business owner needs is to return to flood damage in the New Year.  It really is worth taking the time to check you are prepared before you lock up for Christmas.” 

Make sure you’re prepared for winter - think PIPE:

  • Prepare – know where your stop tap is and check it works.  Have a number of a plumber at hand or check if a water pipe leak or burst is covered on your home or business insurance.
  • Insulate – insulate pipes in cold places like outside and in the garage and loft.
  • Protect – any other exposed equipment, such as outside taps with an insulated cover.
  • Easy – do it because it’s easy and cheap.

Go to for lots of useful information on how to protect your home this winter.

Visit for winter-wise videos.

Visit today, don’t miss out on free pipe lagging and outside tap jackets.