How to Keep Your Cool in a Plumbing Emergency

Leak in my Apartment

(Photo credit: DonnaGrayson)

A plumbing emergency is most people’s nightmare – especially because water can cause so much damage to your home and furnishings. Plumbing emergencies can range from an overflowing tank or broken toilet to a leaky or burst pipe.  Here are some tips to help you stay cool in a crisis – and some things you can do to make life easier for yourself if an emergency does occur.

The first thing you need to do is cut off the flow of water.

Stopcocks – it is vitally important that you know where your stopcocks (sometimes called stop-valves) are (and preferably which taps they shut off). There is no worse feeling than the panic you can experience trying to locate your stop cocks whilst your house is flooding.

So you know where your stopcocks are – the first thing to do is turn them off.  You can do this one by one to see if you can isolate the leak. There will be a main shut off valve, but here may also be some smaller ones for individual water supplies or appliances.

Call a professional plumber.

It is important to do this as soon as is safe as it may take a while for them to arrive. If someone is with you one person can deal with the leak while the other makes the call. Keep a plumber’s number handy in case of an emergency. In Norwich and the surrounding area we recommend HGS Plumbing and Heating.

Turn off your boiler or water heater.

If you have a gas boiler then shut it off or turn off the gas supply otherwise pressure and hot water could build up and damage the boiler.

Turn on outside taps.

If you have any outside taps turn them on to help drain the pipes.

Stop up any leaks.

Do your best to stop up any leaks. Strong tape such as Teflon tape can be a good temporary measure for loose joints and split pipes. You can also pack towels and cloths around the leak to soak up some of the excess water. For bigger leaks use buckets, bowls or trays, but remember to empty them when they become full.

Remember electricity and water is a dangerous combination!

If water has got into any electrical fixtures and fittings don’t use them- it could be fatal – call an electrician right away and don’t use them again until you have been told it is safe to do so.

And finally Keep Calm!

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