5 Handy Tips On How To Deal With An Emergency Plumbing Issue
Just got home from work and surprised by water pouring out of the bottom of the kitchen sink? Or worse still you don’t know where the mains water stop cock is located!
You are not alone, this emergency plumbing situation happens quite frequently in UK homes but it is not the end of the world as there are professionals that are only a phone call away to give a helping hand.
When it comes to plumbing, it’s important to know what constitutes an emergency plumbing issue and when you should call a professional. Knowing the difference between a minor plumbing issue and an emergency can save you time, money, and stress.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what is considered an emergency plumbing issue and how to handle it.
What is Considered an Emergency Plumbing Issue?
The most obvious sign of an emergency plumbing issue is water damage. If you notice any water leaking from your pipes or radiators it’s important to act quickly. Other signs of an emergency plumbing issue include:
Water stains coming through the ceiling is a dead giveaway that there is a leaking pipe under the floor that needs attention before any further damage is done. Call out an emergency plumber as soon as you identify this issue.
Low water pressure or no water coming out of the taps would also be considered an emergency plumbing situation particularly in the winter months when you rely on your heating to keep the house warm.
Damaged or burst pipes is another nightmare scenario that would be considered an emergency plumbing situation. Depending on the severity of a damaged or burst pipe, this could cause considerable damage to your property and requires immediate attention from an emergency plumber.
A gas leak is not water related but is definitely an emergency plumbing issue because of an immediate threat to you and your family and needs to be attended to immediately.
You need to ensure that your plumber is gas safe registered. You can check out local gas safe registered engineers here.
Common Causes of Emergency Plumbing Issues
There are several common causes of emergency plumbing issues. These include:
Burst pipes are most common during winter when water freezing inside the pipes expands and causes the pipe to crack. However, there are a variety of other factors that can result in a burst pipe, including aging pipes and pipes made of certain materials.
Cheaper brands of plastic pipe that might not be compatible with being exposed to low temperatures in winter is an example.
Clogged or blocked drains caused by grease buildup or foreign objects is another cause of what would constitute an emergency plumbing issue.
Leaking water pipes if left unattended will become an emergency plumbing situation and could cause damage if they leak through the ceiling.
Overflowing toilets can not only be a noisy nuisance but cause considerable damage if left unattended. Quite often there is a shut off valve at source and you should be able to turn it off until your local plumber arrives to fix it.
How To Deal with An Emergency Plumbing Issue
Locate the main water valve
In any emergency plumbing situation, the first thing to do is shut off the water supply. It is surprising how many homeowners do not know where the mains water stop cock is located.
In most cases, it is underneath the kitchen sink but it could also be located somewhee else in the house such as: the bathroom, airing cupboard or even in the loft. If you have just recently purchased your home, it would be wise to find out where the stop cock is located to prepare you for any eventual emergency plumbing situation.
Manage a burst pipe
Similar to leaks, a burst or broken pipe requires immediate attention and shutting off the water supply is your number one goal. This could prevent any further dmage before you call out an emergency plumber to deal with it.
Failure to locate and shut off the water supply could risk extensive damage to your furniture, carpets and flooring, which could cause structural damage.
Identify leaking joints
If you see a pipe joint leaking but it is not pouring out and likely to cause any immediate damage, you can use plumbers mate or a similar compound to stop the flow of water until your emergency plumber arrives to fix the leak.
If you don’t have a putty available, you could use a rag of some kind and put a tray under the dripping joint until your emergency plumber arrives to fix the problem.
Check the boiler
Plumbing emergencies aren’t limited to water leaks, clogs, and back-ups — they can also occur in heating systems and result in water or gas leaks. Is there a smell of gas? Turn off the mains gas valve and call a gas safe registered engineer to attend to your gas leak.
In the case of a leak under the boiler, check to see if the leak is dripping near an electrical source and shut that off if this is the case. You will also need to switch off the boiler and contact your local gas engineer.
A completely blocked pipe or drain may seem like a plumbing emergency that’s easy to solve with just a bottle of drain cleaner. However, you need to be careful as they can also do quite a bit of damage to your plumbing system, particularly if it’s old or you have a septic system that isn’t compatible with certain chemical cleaners.
Rather than using a chemical drain cleaner, try using a drain-specific plunger first. If that doesn’t clear the clog, it’s time to call a professional plumber.
Knowing what constitutes an emergency plumbing issue can help you save time, money, and stress in the long run. If you notice any signs of a potential emergency plumbing issue such as water damage or low water pressure, turn off your main water supply valve immediately and contact a professional plumber for assistance. With their help, you can get your plumbing system back up and running in no time!
We hope that you got some useful tips out of our blog post and can feel more confident in the future should you experience any emergency plumbing situations. Feel free to share this blog post with friends and family on your social media feed.
If you need any help, please feel free to contact us!