|What to do if you have frozen or burst pipes:
Water pipes can freeze if they are not properly insulated and can then burst as the thaw comes.
South East Water, which supplies drinking water to 2.2 million customers across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and parts of Hampshire, has the following advice:
Should you find you have no water, first check the South East Water website In Your Area map at inyourarea.digdat.co.uk/southeastwater to see if there is a problem on the supply network.
If no incident is showing, check with your neighbours to see if they have water. If they do, you should check for frozen pipes and take action to prevent a burst, which can cause damage.
If your pipes have frozen:
- Turn off the water supply at the stop tap
- Slowly thaw the pipes by wrapping them in warm materials like towels starting at the end nearest to the tap.
- You could ask your neighbour for some warm water to soak the towels in to speed up the process.
- Never use a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw frozen pipes
If your pipes 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 watersafe.org.uk
- 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
If you and your neighbours do not have water and no incident is showing on the South East Water website, call 0333 000 0002 to report the problem.
For details on how to wrap up homes for winter go to: southeastwater.co.uk/wrap-up-for-winter.