Problems with burst water pipes

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WITH the big freeze Anglian Water has been deluged with calls about frozen pipes.

Staff received over 2,000 calls on December 7 alone – a 150 percent increase on normal.

Most of the calls have been about customers’ own pipes which have frozen or burst, which is something Anglian Water can do nothing about.

The company is appealing to people with frozen pipes not to call.

John Clare from Anglian Water said: ““We need to free our phone lines so we can deal with calls about the water mains and sewerage networks which are our responsibility.”

Anglian Water has the following advice for people who are not sure whether they have a problem with their internal pipe work or the mains supply.

Check with neighbours to see if they’re also without water. If they are unaffected and if the cold tap in your kitchen is still working, it is likely you have frozen pipes in your house. However, if several adjacent houses have lost their supply then that is something Anglian Water needs to know about.

If you have a water meter fitted to an external wall, or the cold kitchen tap doesn’t work, then it is possible your private supply pipe is frozen.

Once a frozen pipe has been located, you can either wait for it to thaw or try: Turning off the water supply at the main stop tap. Turn off the supply to the loft tank as well, if possible.

Open the tap nearest to the part of the pipe you think is frozen, so the water can flow out when the ice has melted. Thaw the pipe using a hot water bottle, fan heater or hairdryer, but keep any electrical equipment well away from any water.

Natural thawing also brings the risk of frozen pipes bursting. The key thing is to find your stop tap, which is usually under your kitchen sink. This is the tap that stops the water supply entering your home so turn the water off quickly if your pipe work does burst, to prevent flooding.