News Advice

Protect your business if a water pipe freezes

With the cold snap upon us, South East Water is warning domestic customers and business owners to check their water pipes now to prevent costly damage if they burst after freezing.

Water pipes freeze if they are not properly insulated and can then rupture when the thaw comes.

South East Water’s Head of Operations, Steve Andrews said: “Water damage from burst pipes can be very costly but is also preventable.

“With many premises closed at the moment due to Covid restrictions, some owners may not be aware their pipes could be at risk. Taking action now could stop the heartache caused by flooded property when the weather changes.

“If customers find they have no water, they should check with neighbours to see if they are experiencing problems too. If they are, it could be a problem on our network and they should check the South East Water website or call us on 0333 000 0002.

“However, if it appears to be an isolated issue, customers should check for frozen pipes and take the right action to prevent a burst and the damage that can cause.”

If your pipes have frozen:

  • Turn off the water supply at the stop tap
  • Slowly thaw the pipe with hot water bottles or a towel soaked in hot water, starting at the end nearest to the tap. Never use a naked flame or blowtorch

If your pipes have burst:

  • Turn off the stop tap
  • Open all taps to drain the system quickly
  • Soak up/block off escaping water with thick towels
  • Call a qualified plumber. To find your nearest WaterSafe accredited plumber visit
  • If water has leaked near your electrics or into any electrical appliances, switch them off at the mains
  • Turn off taps once the pipework is repaired to avoid further flooding

For details on how to wrap up homes for winter visit South East Water website