Water Safety

Hot water cylinder safety

There is a rare, but potentially serious scalding risk, from domestic hot water cylinders when a fault occurs. This is caused by cylinders overheating.

The warning signs are:

  • excessive noise from the hot water cylinder
  • a very hot cylinder or airing cupboard
  • hot water coming from cold taps


If you are aware of any of these signs, switch off the heating system or immersion heater immediately and contact the repairs line on 03456 08 12 03.

Water safety in winter

How can I prevent frozen pipes?

Water supply pipes within your home can be at risk during winter months. All pipes and water tanks should be properly insulated to prevent frost damage. We are currently inspecting and upgrading insulation levels within homes. If you are concerned that pipes and water tanks have not been properly insulated you should contact your local Housing office.

There are many ways that you can prevent cold weather from causing damage to your home and contents.


Keeping your home warm

Try and avoid frozen pipes by keeping your home reasonably warm during the day and at night. In very cold weather keep the heating on during the night at a low temperature.

If you experience exceptionally low temperatures at any time it is a good idea open the hatch in the roof space if you have one. Although this may add slightly to your heating bills, it will give additional protection to your water tank and pipes in the roof space.

If you have any concerns about heating your home in winter months contact your local Housing office.

For further advice on how to heat you home cost effectively please contact SCARF. SCARF’s Energy Advice Team provides free, independent and impartial advice and information to householders covering fuel debt, paying for fuel, domestic energy, damp and condensation.


What should I do if I leave my house empty for any time in winter?

If you are going to be away from home for a few days during winter, leave the heating on and leave a key with someone who can keep an eye on the house.

If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, you should inform your local Housing office. If your home is going to be unheated while you are away it will be necessary to drain off the hot and cold water supply and turn off the water stopcock. It is not normally necessary to drain down any wet radiator central heating system since antifreeze is usually installed.

Don’t forget to:

  • find the location of your mains stop valve
  • arrange for someone to have access to your home while you are away
  • keep your home warm day and night in very cold weather
  • remember the repairs line number: 03456 08 12 03


What should I do if my water pipes become frozen?

If you do have frozen pipes, turn off the mains stop valve immediately and telephone the repairs line on:

03456 08 12 03


Where are the water stop valves in my home?

You should make sure you know the location of the water stopcocks in your home and make sure you also know how to turn them off and on. The location will vary from house to house but will usually be at the incoming supply pipe in the kitchen. If you are not able to find them or to use them, contact your local Housing office.


What other action should I take?

After turning off your water supply you should open all cold taps to drain the system. Collect water in your bath for washing and flushing the toilet.

Do not open the hot taps as the hot water cylinder may collapse if the pipes feeding it are frozen.

Turn off the central heating and immersion heater and let any solid fuel fire die down.

What should I do if I have a burst pipe?

If pipes within your home burst you should take the following action:

  • turn off the mains stop valve at once – it is usually located under the sink in the kitchen
  • switch off electricity at the mains
  • switch off any water heater
  • turn off the central heating system
  • let any solid fuel fire die down
  • open all taps to drain your system but remember to collect water in your bath for washing and flushing the toilet
  • warn any neighbours who may suffer damage
  • call the repairs line on 03456 08 12 03