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Cold weather reminder to check your pipes

01 March 2024 15:52

 | NI Water News

With snow and sleet affecting most areas of Northern Ireland today, NI Water is advising its customers to take action and protect their properties against frozen and burst pipes.

Forecasters are advising further cold interludes remain possible, especially in March with brief wintry impacts possible. NI Water is keen to make sure customers are aware of the simple things they can do to make sure their water keeps flowing during periods of cold weather.

NI Water education officer Anna Killen said: “Your pipes and taps are at risk of freezing when temperatures drop. Sometimes this can go unnoticed until the cracked pipe thaws and water starts leaking from it.

“Outdoor water pipes and taps and those in places like roof spaces or garages are particularly at risk of freezing and bursting. If this happens it may result in no water, no heating or a costly flood. Properties that are left empty for extended periods of time such as businesses or seasonal sites like caravan parks can also be at greater risk.

“When problems with pipes occur, it is the homeowner or landlord’s responsibility. NI Water’s advice is to take some time to check that your pipes are lagged and well insulated, and to make sure all unoccupied properties are also protected against the elements. It could help prevent a great degree of personal inconvenience and expense.”


Offering some advice on what to do if you find a leak or frozen pipe, Anna said:


“If you find a frozen pipe, try wrapping it in a towel that’s been soaked in hot water or pour some warm (not hot) water over it to unfreeze it. If that doesn’t work, the best thing to do is to phone a qualified WaterSafe plumber before the problem gets worse.


“If you find a leak, contact NI Water online at or phone 08088 028 2011 and we will be pleased to advise. You will need to turn off your property’s water supply at the stop tap which is usually located under your kitchen sink. Soak up any escaping water with towels to limit the damage and call a WaterSafe approved plumber who is qualified to do the repair work.”


NI Water’s website offers lots of helpful advice, including the following tips:

  • Complete the NI Water home water audit and order your free outdoor tap cover alongside other water saving items at
  • Wrap up pipes and water tanks with lagging – DIY stores have everything you need
  • Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe
  • Find your home’s stop tap and make sure you can turn it off – most are under the kitchen sink
  • Leave the heating on low if you go away
  • Check your central heating boiler has been serviced
  • Keep the name of a plumber handy – type in your postcode at www.watersafe/   to find your nearest accredited plumbing business or try The Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation (SNIPEF) website at
  • To report a leak please contact NI Water online at or on 0800 0282011. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week



Notes to editors

When checking your home is winterproof, why not take the time to check the age of your water supply pipes. For information about how you can find and deal with lead pipes please visit: 

Media enquiries to the NI Water Press Office via email to

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