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You know as well as we do just how unpredictable the UK weather is.

As we bid farewell to mild weather, we can feel the temperature dropping and the cold creeping in. That’s when it’s time to start thinking about pipes and how to keep them protected from the cold.

Burst pipes, caused by water freezing and expanding, account for a significant amount of escape of water claims we receive every winter.

We want to help our customers avoid disruption and keep their pipes protected. So take a look at some of our top tips and interesting facts that will help you get prepared.

How to avoid frozen pipes

Ensure water pipes and water tanks are insulated correctly as these exposed pipes are more likely to freeze. If unsure visit your local DIY store for more advice. Also, consider opening your loft hatch as allowing warm air to reach the loft can reduce the risk of the water tank freezing.

Keep your heating on for a regular interval each day at a temperature between 12-15 degrees Celsius, especially whilst the home is unoccupied.

Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can keep warm air from reaching sinks and adjacent outside walls, so keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate.

Make sure you know where your stopcock is, and check that it works. This can usually be found under the kitchen sink. If you cannot locate it then contact a local plumber for advice. Also, think about an electronic stopcock replacement as these can be less prone to sticking.

Consider a leak detection and prevention system in your home. Systems are designed to detect excessive flow of water and/or via strategically placed moisture sensors that shut down your water supply. AXA recommends Leaksafe, visit

Advice on what to do if your pipes freeze

Turn the water off at the main stopcock and attempt to thaw frozen pipes with a hot waterbottle or hairdryer where possible.

Switch off the central heating or any other water heating installations and open all taps to drain the system. Ensure that professional repair has been carried out before switching back on.

Keep your claims contact details safe. Your home insurance policy wordings and the Manor Insurance website provide further information on how to report a claim.

Looking after your boiler and heating

Make sure that your boiler has recently been serviced by a Gas Safe engineer. For more information visit

Look for small gaps around the areas where your television, cable or telephone lines come through the wall, and seal them up to avoid cold air getting through.

If you are on holiday for a long period it may be worthwhile draining the water system entirely and asking a friend or neighbour to check your house once a week whilst you're away to make sure everything is ok.