Cold weather advice for your business
Make sure your business is prepared for the cold Winter months by reading through the tips and advice below.
Businesses, schools and buildings like community centres or places of worship are particularly vulnerable to burst pipes during the winter. Industrial estates or caravan park are also more like to have exposed pipes which can freeze and burst. They’re often empty for days, meaning a burst pipe, inside or outside the building going unnoticed and causing flooding a leaking huge amounts of water.
As winter approaches it is important that you ensure your business is prepared for a decrease in temperature and winter conditions.
The short video below demonstrates how to lag your pipes:
We have highlighted below some important tips that are relevant to all types of businesses as well as providing advice for particular business types:
Wrap up pipes and taps in a cold place, wrap them with insulation or a lagging kit and inspect them regularly.
Consider draining pipes which are in exposed cold places ahead of a cold snap, and turn off the valves.
Keep your building warm by keeping the heating on low during freezing spells, service the boiler and check your radiators are all working properly.
Dripping taps and even the smallest leak can increase the risk of frozen pipes. Talk to your staff and make sure they report any leaks, broken fittings or broken insulation.
Know how much water you use, if possible take regular meter readings (where it is safe to do so) to spot any leaks quickly.
Know where your stop taps are (you may have more than one), and check that they work. You’ll need to get to them quickly, and know how to turn them off, should the worst happen. And take time to know where water pipes are, indoors and outside, are so you can inspect them regularly.
Know your plumbers Keep a list of registered plumbers handy in case you need to call them in an emergency, the Water Industry Approved Plumbers scheme may be able to help you.
Check the property if it is being left empty for a period during a cold spell. Taking time to do this can reduce the impact of frozen or burst pipes.
Essential Care Facilities
Depending on the critical nature of your site we may have already contacted you to discuss emergency plans for any unplanned interruption to your water supply. These plans may be as simple as ensuring we hold accurate contact information for you, registering your site for bottled water or on acute sites ensuring we have the ability to connect tankers into your internal water supply system.
If you have not had any discussions with us on these matters please contact us at BST@dwrcymru.com (customers with a single site using over 50,000m3 of water per year should contact their Retailer).
You should also ensure you have the correct contact details available of contractors in your area who can assist you because a local plumber may not be able to help with the external private pipe network within a large site.
As a site that relies on a water supply you should consider, if possible, having water storage facilities on site.
Large Industrial Sites
Have available contact details for local contractors who could repair leaks on your private supply network. Where this private network has very larger diameter pipes, you should consider whether fittings would be readily available, if not you may need to consider keeping spares or have the appropriate contracts in place to source these at short notice.
If a water supply is critical to your business you should consider onsite storage facilities or put arrangements in place with a third party to provide tankers during an emergency. We will assist you if we can but during cold weather our resources may be in use on our own network and we won’t be able to help.
If you do not have data loggers on your supply consider installing these, because being aware of your base usage will help to identify any leaks quickly before they impact your site. Please contact us on 0800 260 5052 if you would like to understand more about data logging.
You can contact us at BST@dwrcymru.com or your Retailer (for customers with a single site using over 50,000m3 of water per year) for advice on how you can prepare your site and protect your business.
Caravan Sites and Holiday Parks
If your site is closed during the winter you may want to consider draining the water network over the winter, but make sure it’s fully chlorinated when the supply is re-established in spring. If only certain parts of the site are unused during the winter consider installing stop taps to these areas so the supplies can be isolated.
As you are likely to have outside taps or pipes you also need to ensure these are protected, wrap them with appropriate insulation or a lagging kit and inspect them regularly.
Disconnect any hosepipes to stop them becoming damaged.
If only certain parts of the site are closed during the winter consider installing stop taps to these areas so the supplies can be isolated.
Schools and buildings like community centres or places of worship are particularly vulnerable to burst pipes during the winter as they’re often empty for days, meaning a burst pipe, inside or outside the building going unnoticed and causing flooding and leaking huge amounts of water.
To help avoid this you should disconnect any hosepipes to stop them becoming damaged, isolate any external supplies where possible and make sure your sprinkler system is prepared for winter.
Many service providers’ premises may be empty for periods, either overnight, during weekends or holidays meaning a burst pipe inside the building could go unnoticed and leak huge amounts of water causing internal flooding. To help ensure this doesn't happen make sure you have considered the above tips to help protect your business.