What to do in a Plumbing Emergency

Posted on October 20, 2017 in  | Tags:

Your plumbing system can play up at any time of the year – leaky pipes, clogged drains, bath tubs, toilets, sewerage back-up, washing machine breakdowns – you can only shudder at the thought!

However, plumbing emergencies can be even more prevalent once the winter months kick in, spelling a huge disaster. The last thing you want in the cold winter months is for pipes to burst or to be unable to access hot water.

As a wise man once said – “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” (it was Benjamin Franklin – although Roy Keane always gets the credit!). If you aren’t prepared to immediately respond to a plumbing emergency, a system leak or breakdown could result in severe panic and despair. Loss of heating, loud, gargling pipes or water spouting from pipes can result in immediate terror – unless you know how to react otherwise.

You don’t need to be an emergency plumber, but every homeowner or tenant should equip themselves with the knowledge of what to do if faced with a plumbing emergency. So here are our top tips to educate yourself:


  • Shut off the water supply

In any plumbing emergency, your first port of call should always be to shut off the water supply valve in order to prevent leaks and pools of water from worsening. The valve is usually located under the sink – turn it clockwise to shut it off. If the issue is just related to your toilet, shut off the water supply to your WC by shutting off the valve behind or at the base.


  • Turn off the heating

In the event that you need to shut off the main valve, turn off your heaters too to prevent build-up of heat as it can cause considerable damage.


  • Use a plunger

When faced with a clogged sink or toilet, first try to tackle the issue yourself by using a plunger to unclog the blockages. If the plunger is unable to alleviate the blockage, it may be more severe and will require the expertise of an emergency plumber to resolve the issue.


  • Tape up sources of minor leaks

Try and spot any minor source of leaks and tape up with silicone tape until you can conduct permanent repairs or get a qualified pipe on site to do so.


  • Boilers are hands off

Tackling issues with a boiler requires specialist expertise and should never be attempted by anyone without the expertise, experience and certified accreditation to do so. If you experience any issues with your boiler, call a registered boiler maintenance plumber immediately.


  • If you smell gas, evacuate immediately

If you suspect a gas leak, do not try to tackle the issue yourself. Instead, focus on evacuating everyone from the property and call an emergency plumber or your gas provider.

If in doubt, always call a plumber immediately and listen to their instructions. They will be able to offer expert tips and advice for tending to your plumbing emergency while they travel to your property.

With any plumbing emergency, the sooner you can draft in expert advice and assistance from a plumbing professional, the less significant the damage will be.

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