Escape of Water – Ten Tips for Prevention

What is escape of water?

A leaking washing machine, a burst pipe or a blocked toilet can all lead to what you will often find described as an ‘escape of water’. This language is used to precisely distinguish the type of events mentioned above, from other types of water damage caused by flooding or storm damage. So even though you might naturally say, ‘my bathroom has flooded because of a leaking pipe’, this counts as ‘escape of water’ (not flooding) for your park home insurance cover.

Here are some examples:

  • Leaking or spillages from a washing machine
  • Leaking or spillages from a dishwasher
  • Leaking and burst water pipes
  • Leaking radiators, taps and showers
  • Blocked and overflowing drains and toilets

Escape of water is usually applicable to the buildings part of your insurance cover. Terms and conditions will apply to your park home insurance and you can find out more in our Park Home Insurance Policy Document here

What is not covered under escape of water insurance cover?

  • Water escape as a result of inadequate maintenance or faulty workmanship
  • Loss or damage caused by water overflowing from wash basins, sinks, bidets, showers, and baths as a result of taps being left on in your park home (this may be covered under accidental damage, depending on your policy terms and conditions)
  • Water escape resulting from deliberate damage by you
  • Loss or damage due to flooding or storms – this would apply to a different part of your park home insurance cover.

How do I prevent escape of water?

  1. Find out where the stopcock for your park home is

Stopcocks control the water to your home. It is a good idea when you first move into a park home to make a note of where the stopcock is situated. If you have trouble locating the stopcock for your park home, your park management should be able to help. Check yours regularly, making sure that it has not seized up. In the event of an escape of water, the first thing is often to shut off the water supply at the stopcock, so if it is easy to turn, it may avoid further damage.

If you find that the stopcock for your home has seized, it is a good idea to quickly consult a plumber as you may need one to free it up. Avoid forcing it and causing damage.

  1. Check your pipes regularly

Check for looseness or leaks around joints and joins, particularly where pipes are fitted into appliances. Check pipes contained behind removable panels, like under the bath, so that small leaks do not build up to something more serious.

  1. Regularly check for leaks

It is a good idea to regularly look for leaks in taps, toilets, sinks, baths and showers.

If you find a leak, you may need to replace any sealant, taps or shower trays. The faster you act, the more damage you may avoid.

  1. If you can, put appliances on a timer to operate when you are at home

It is tempting to time your dishwasher or washing machine for when you are out so that it’s all done when you get in. You can still schedule appliances for times when you know you will be busy with something elsewhere in your home. If your washing machine is running when you’re at home, you may be more likely to spot a problem much quicker than if one arises when you’re out.

  1. Locate your water pipes

You don’t want to put a drill or nail through any pipe, so find out where they are using a stud finder or consult the design specs of your park home. It is still often a good idea to confirm them with a stud finder.

  1. Shut off your water when you are away.

If you leave your home unoccupied for any amount of time you may be required to drain the water from all the systems that use it. Turn your water off at the stopcocks. Leaving your taps open to avoid pressure building up if freezing does occur. It is freezing plus pressure that causes burst pipes.  Check your park home insurance documents for terms and conditions relating to leaving your home unoccupied in the winter.

  1. Fit a leak detection device

A leak detection device monitors the flow of water in your system and reacts if it detects an abnormal flow. These can be fitted by a plumber so that you have an immediate warning and the water supply is shut off if the device detects a leak.

  1. Use your meter

If you don’t have a detection device but you do have a water meter, you can still use it to confirm a suspected leak. Shut off everything that uses water in your home. Shut down your water at the stopcock and take a reading. Turn your stopcock back on but don’t use any water, and monitor the meter for two hours. If, after the two hours, the meter has moved, then there is water escaping somewhere in the system and the leak is confirmed.

  1. Hire a professional

Possibly the best thing you can do to prevent escape of water in your home is to always employ a professional to do any work installing, repairing and even checking your water systems. Seek out an accredited company or trades person for peace of mind. It may be wise to consult with your neighbours or your park’s management for recommendations. It can prove helpful in the event of an insurance claim, to keep records (including before and after photos) of work carried out.

  1. Protect your plumbing from the cold

Any pipes that may be exposed to freezing should be fully lagged. In the majority of park homes most of the pipe work is under the floor. Keep your park home heated to a sufficient level. This may mean setting a timer to switch your heating on for an hour or so if you go out in cold weather. As we mentioned earlier, there are conditions on your park home insurance relating to leaving your home unoccupied during the winter months.

This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi award-winning providers of residential park home insurance.  If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your park home, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.

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