What to do in a plumbing emergency
The most important thing to do is DON'T PANIC.
Dealing with a burst pipe
- Turn off the stop-cocks (sometimes called stop-valves) one by one to isolate the leak.
- If this doesn't work turn ON all your COLD water taps so that the pipe-work and water storage systems can drain completely 4.It's really important that you do not turn on your hot water taps.
- The last thing to do before getting in touch with your plumber is to turn off the central heating system and electrical immersion heaters and if you use solid fuel in your heating system, let the fire die out.
- Get a recommended plumber to call round.
- If wiring has been exposed to the water, be really careful and make sure that you get a recommended electrician to fix it for you.
Dealing with a frozen pipe
- Turn off your mains water supply which you can normally find under your kitchen sink.
- If you can't find the supply valve in your home, check your garden or any pathway you have outside where it may be under a cover.
- If the frozen pipe isn't controlled by a valve and runs from a storage cistern, check that it hasn't split.
- If the pipe has split, empty the cistern by opening up the cold water taps and flushing the toilet or by siphoning the water from the cistern with a hose. Then call your plumber.
- If the pipe hasn't split, you'll be able to thaw it out using hot water bottles or an electric hairdryer.
Golden rules to follow for thawing frozen pipes
- Always be careful not to thaw the pipe too quickly as this might cause the pipe to split. It might also expose a split that you hadn't noticed earlier and cause a heavy flow of water;
- It's really important that when using the hairdryer option, the pipe hasn't got any splits in it as water and electricity is a dangerous combination;
- Never use a naked flame to thaw a pipe;
- Always start thawing the pipe at the end nearest the pipe.