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Posted on 7 January 2020

Top Tips For Looking After Your Drains and Pipes

According to the ABI (Association of British Insurers), one of the most common types of property damage claims is ‘escape of water’ damage, with insurers paying out around £1.8 million for it every day. ‘Escape of water’ damage can be caused by many issues, including burst pipes due to freezing temperatures to blocked toilets and leaking dishwashers.

If you want to ensure that your drains and pipes do not leave you in financial despair due to significant damage, our plumbing and drainage cover and insurance can offer the additional reassurance you require. Making sure you have cover in place before problems develop is crucial.

Keeping your drain in good shape

Making sure you’re not pouring oil and fats from cooking, baby wipes, sanitary products and even cotton buds and plasters goes a long way to making sure your pipes don’t get blocked. If you suspect a blockage, make sure you clean your drains and pipes regularly. Half a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar and very hot (not boiling) water will help to remove a blockage quickly without corroding your pipes as some drain chemicals can.

If you have a lot of oil or fat left over from cooking, let it cool slightly (but not enough to harden), pour it into a bottle and throw the bottle away. You can also use a plughole protector in your sinks, bath and/or shower to stop hair or food from escaping into the pipes and causing potential blockages.

Soften your water

Hard water can cause problems with your plumbing and sewer pipes as well as having a negative impact on your skin and home appliances too. It typically contains minerals like magnesium and calcium which will then build up inside your pipes and restrict water flow.

You can invest in a water softener, which is installed where your home’s water supply enters your property (usually under your kitchen sink). These use sodium to counteract the effects of the other minerals and can help to prolong the life of your plumbing and drains.


Find out where your stopcocks are and make sure you test them regularly as they can seize up. Turning your water off as soon as possible in the event of a leak can help to limit the amount of damage caused.

You’ll usually find you have two (or more!) stopcocks; one inside your property and one outside. Keep in mind, if you live in a flat, the external stopcock will be for your whole block.

Preparing for winter

The cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst just when you don’t want to be without heating or hot water!

If you have any exposed pipes in areas of your home that are unheated, such as the garage or attic, wrap these in insulation tape to protect them during the winter.

You may be staying with family or away on holiday, leaving your home unoccupied for a length of time and there’s a chance that your pipes (and any water in them) could freeze. It’s best, therefore, to turn off your water supply if you’re able to, or set your heating not to fall below 14°C.

To find out more about how our plumbing and drainage cover packages could be here to solve your home emergency cover needs, including boiler and central heating cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes.

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