People living in Highland Perthshire are being advised to find out where their stop tap is located in case they need to switch it off in an emergency this winter.
A survey conducted by WaterSafe in September 2022, found that out of two thousand responses, only 54% of people knew where the stop tap was located in their home. Being aware of where your stop tap is, allows you to turn off the water from the mains in an emergency, such as if a water pipe bursts.
Director of WaterSafe, Julie Spinks, said: “WaterSafe is a partner of the Met Office’s ‘WeatherReady’ campaign, which encourages everyone to think about what they can do to prepare for, and cope with, severe weather. My number one recommendation is find your stop tap, check it’s working and label it. This will help you to quickly shut off the water supply in an emergency, such as a leak or burst pipe. Note that it should be turned clockwise to turn off.
“Pipes can freeze and burst in very cold temperatures, particularly if we have a sudden freeze and thaw. It’s also common for water to freeze in hosepipes attached to outdoor taps, leading to ice backing up into pipes and cracking them.
“I’d also advise everyone to have the number of a WaterSafe-approved plumber handy for emergencies. Our survey showed only just over a quarter of people do this,”
The most common places that stop taps are located are, under the kitchen sink, in a kitchen cupboard, in a downstairs bathroom or toilet, the garage, a utility room, a cellar, or under the stairs.
The survey also revealed that, out of all the responders who said they actively prepare for winter, the most common actions they take are, ensuring their boiler has been serviced (37%), checking where their stop tap is located (33%), and disconnecting and or draining the hose pipe attached to their outdoor taps (31%).
Julie said: “Winter can lead to costly issues for some people, so I’d recommend being as prepared as you can be – most people aren’t! Nearly three-quarters of respondents told us they don’t fix dripping taps, turn off the water if they’re going away or leave the heating on low to help prevent bursts. There’s lots of winter advice on our website at watersafe.org.uk/winter.”