Top tips for checking your heating and plumbing before you travel

It’s a new year; a great time to get those travel plans in the diary – and also, make sure that our heating and plumbing needs are attended while we’re traversing the globe. The practicalities of travel are perhaps less attractive but always necessary; no one wants to be stuck with a bill for thousands after a fun holiday.

Cold weather is the most likely to induce heating or plumbing damage, especially if temperatures are likely to plummet below zero. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has some good advice for anyone travelling during winter months:

  1. A week or so before you go, have a quick check round of any exposed pipework, including outdoor taps, overflow pipes and pipes in your loft space. If your pipes could do with a bit of thermal help, take a quick trip down to your local plumbing or DIY merchant for some lagging. It’s cheap, easy to fit and something you can do yourself or call your favourite plumber if you’d rather leave it to the professionals!
  2. If your plumbing system incorporates a cold water tank (normally found in the loft space) this should be adequately insulated too. Again, you can insulate this yourself but might prefer a pro service.
  3. On the day you leave, turn off your water supply at the main stop valve (sometimes called a stop cock). If a very cold snap is forecast you may wish to drain down water in the system to prevent the pipes freezing. This can be done by opening the cold taps / flushing the toilet until the system runs dry. Make sure you remember to close the cold taps after.
  4. If you have pipework/cold water storage tank in the loft space, open the loft hatch a little so that warmer air within the house can rise.
  5. Central heating systems can normally be set to a ‘frost’ setting, which will keep the heating system ticking over at a temperature low enough to not hit you hard on the heating bills, but high enough to stop your home from going below freezing.
  6. Double check the small print on your house insurance policy too. They may require you to take the steps above to prevent water damage. If the worst did happen, you don’t want to find out your insurance policy is void.

For more information on all your plumbing needs, contact the AACooper on 01689 485007 or

Source: – “Going away for the festivities?”