Don't turn a plumbing emergency into a disaster
Just about everyone will, at some time or other, face a plumbing emergency.
Plumbing emergencies can vary greatly in cause and effect.
It is important to prevent, as far as possible, unnecessary damage to your home, carpets, furniture and fittings and the following tips and suggestions will enable you minimise the damage to your home.
Understand how your system operates, and more importantly how to stop it working in an emergency.
Know where your stop valves and drain taps are located
Make sure that you know the location of:
the stop valve on the incoming cold water mains supply pipework
all internal isolating valves. Label what they are for and check that they operate periodically
the drain valves on your Central heating and hot water systems
The first thing to do is to prevent water passing the point of the leak.
Turn off your Central Heating system unless you know that the leak will not effect your boiler.
Turn off all stop valves and isolating valves and if the escaping water can't be controlled immediately, open all cold water taps (NOT HOT WATER TAPS) to drain water pipework and the storage system.
Collect the leaking water in a container
Call us without delay
Prevent water freezing in cold weather
Ensure that all exposed pipework and storage cisterns are adequately insulated, particularly those in the roof space and in unheated areas.
Additional precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing during cold weather:
If you have a water storage cistern in the roof space, open the hatch door to allow some heat from the house to keep the water from freezing.
If you have an external hose union bib tap, isolate the supply pipework internally and drain any residual water to avoid the possibility of freezing.
The first sign of a frozen pipe is usually either when it thaws and leaks or when something stops working.
If the pipework is leaking, turn off the water supply to prevent any further water reaching the leaking section of pipework and call us immediately
If the pipework is frozen, turn off the water supply to prevent any further water reaching the frozen section of pipework and check to see if the pipework has split. If it has call us immediately. If the pipework is intact, thaw it out by applying hot water bottles or by carefully using a hair dryer. You should not try to thaw a frozen section of pipework too quickly, such as by pouring boiling water onto it, as this could damage the pipe and you should never use a naked flame to thaw a pipe. If you are in any doubt, call us immediately.
Preventative maintenance is better and cheaper than replacement.
Inspect water storage cisterns regularly to ensure correct operation
Check the condition of flexible pipework to domestic appliances.
Dripping taps or ball valves are a sign that your plumbing system requires maintenance. To avoid them becoming a major problem, call us without delay.
Have your Central heating boiler serviced annually.