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Summer Savings Tips
- Fit a water butt to collect water from the roof. Rain water is better for many plants and you can also use it for washing the car.
- Use a bucket to wash the car in preference to a hose
- Always fit your hose with a trigger gun to prevent waste when it is unattended.
- Don't overfill paddling pools which can waste a lot of water on hot summer days when demand for water is high.
- If you have a pond don't overfill it and don’t keep topping it up if it leaks mend it.
- If you have a pump and fountain, check the pressure to avoid water blowing out of the pond on a windy day.
- Let grass grow a little longer in hot weather to prevent it drying out.
- Raise the cutting height of your lawn mower and cut it long
- If the lawn turns brown in dry weather don’t worry it will green up when the rain returns.
- Use your grass clippings as a mulch on your lawn or garden to retain the moisture
- Water in the evening or on overcast days to prevent evaporation.
- Over watering your lawn can weaken it encouraging roots to stay close the surface of the soil
- Use a watering can instead of a hose so you can water at the ground level so it gets right down to the roots
- You can mulch your garden beds giving them a protective layer to keep in the moisture; there are various different types you can make your own by composting garden and kitchen waste.
- When preparing hanging baskets or pots add crystal gel to the soil before planting to retain moisture and they will need less watering. Line the baskets with plastic to stop water loss.
- Grow plants that require less water succulents such as Sedums, Lavender, Hebes, Periwinkle, Iris, Geraniums, Oriental Poppies, Rosemary, Pheasant Grass, Marigolds, Petunias, Alyssum, Campanula, Heuchera, Aquilegia, Evening Primrose, Buddleia, Rockrose, and Thyme. Plants with silver, blue or grey leaves, spiky or furry soft leaves are generally not so thirsty.
Protection in Winter
Winter warming tips
- Dripping taps and faulty ball valves are signs of trouble.
- Fit new washers now to avoid problems later.
- Dripping water can freeze.
- The best way to avoid frozen or burst pipes is to protect them by insulating them.
- Wrap a towel over the outside tap and cover with a moisture proof cover (plastic bag) to keep dry.
- Protection will delay freezing in very cold conditions.
- There is no substitute for keeping on some heating.
- Lag the storage cistern in the loft and any pipes likely to freeze.
- Avoid draughts. Close windows near pipes and cisterns.
- Keep your home warm, especially where there are pipes.
- If your home is left empty during the winter, leave the central heating on a low thermostat setting, timed to come on for an hour or two a day at the coldest time.
- The safest protection if you are away from home for any length of time is to drain down all systems.
If you leave a tap running you are unnecessarily wasting water and the whole network could be switched off to protect supplies if cumsumption rises and reservoir levels start to fall.
How to thaw a frozen pipe
- Turn off your water supply at the internal stop valve (normally under the kitchen sink).
- Check pipe has not been damaged.
If pipe is not damaged
- Gently heat the frozen section by applying hot water bottles or wrapping with heated cloths.
- Carefully use an electric hair dryer.
- Warning: Extreme care must be exercised when using electrical appliances near water.
How not to thaw a frozen pipe
- Do not apply excessive heat - plastic pipes melt.
- Do not apply direct flame - this could cause a fire.
- Do not light the boiler to thaw the central heating or hot water systems.
What to do if you have a burst pipe
- Turn off your water supply.
- Open all the cold taps to drain the system.
- Collect the water in the bath for personal use.
- Do not open the hot taps as the hot water cylinder could collapse.
- Wrap material round the pipe and bind it with tape.
- Contact a qualified and experienced plumber.