Warning on burst pipes

Yorkshire Water staff checking for burst pipes
Yorkshire Water staff checking for burst pipes
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Hundreds of burst pipes are expected in Sheffield as a result of the recent wintry weather.

Last winter, specialist inspectors from Yorkshire Water dealt with more than 600 burst pipes - with similar figures expected this year.

The company’s leakage inspectors have been out on streets in the city over the past few weeks to help deal with problems.

Yorkshire Water has also published advice to city residents to help them avoid being affected.

In addition to more high-tech gadgets, inspector have been using ‘listening sticks’ - first introduced around 150 years ago - to help identify the source of leaks.

The sticks allow inspectors to identify a leak from up to 500 metres away using just their hearing.

The 1.5m-long devices have an earpiece on one end and the inspector places the other onto a stop tap or valve to listen out for the constant noise generated by water escaping from a pipe.

Tony O’Shea, Yorkshire Water’s leakage and metering manager, said: “Being able to locate a leak just based on what you’re hearing is a real skill which can take years of experience to develop.

“Despite all the clever pieces of kit that have come along in recent years, 99 per cent of leaks will be found with the help of a listening stick.

“While we’ve got the experts and devices in place to help us deal with bursts when they do come along, we’d still like to ask all of our customers across Sheffield to make sure they’re winter ready by following our tips.”

The company’s tips include wrapping exposed pipes in lagging, leaving central heating on a constant low temperature and knowing where a home’s stop tap is located.