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Dealing with Burst Water Pipes: A Quick Guide - Home Emergency

Burst water pipes can cause significant damage in a Home Emergency if not addressed promptly. Here’s what you need to do to minimise the impact and prevent further issues:

1. Shut Off the Water Supply

Locate the Stopcock: Be it in your home or outside, you need to know how to turn your water off. Locate your internal stopcock, usually under the kitchen sink or stairs, and your external stopcock near the property boundary.

First Step: This is the first step to dealing with a water emergency. Getting the water isolated is crucial.

Uk Stopcock - Typical valbe


Stay Calm: While it’s easy to say, do your utmost not to panic and follow these steps before calling anyone. Realistically, a plumber may take 30+ minutes to arrive, and that’s a lot of water, so turn it off first. You might even avoid an emergency call-out and book a normal call-out time and charge.

3. Identify the Source of the Leak

Determine the Origin: Next, try to work out where the water is coming from - tanks, pipework, or heating system.

Stopcock Effectiveness: If water is coming from any main pipework, turning off the stopcock inside or out should have stopped the water. However, if the water is coming from a tank or heating system, there is stored water that still needs to empty.

4. Empty the Tanks

Speed Up Emptying: You can speed up the emptying process of the tank by opening up taps within the home. This will quickly empty tanks located in the loft (assuming the leak is from the tank or pipework from the tank to taps/showers).

running a bath to release

5. Hot Water Cylinder Leaking

Identify a Drain Down Valve: This can be a bit trickier, but the above steps should still apply. Call a plumber as soon as possible to limit damage. If you are confident and can identify a drain down valve near the cylinder, you can use a hose to try to empty the cylinder (we do not accept responsibility if you attempt a drain down).

Typical drain down valve

6. Heating System Leaking

Gravity-Fed System:Turn off all valves on radiators (this will keep the water within the radiators). Turn off the heating/boiler controls (this will close any valves and hopefully airlock to stop water escaping).

Pressurised Heating System: Follow the same steps as above. If you feel confident and know how to, you can drain down with a hose via a drain down point somewhere at ground level of your heating system.

7. Educate Household Members

Quick Overview: Give everyone in the home a quick overview of where the stopcock is and ensure it works. This knowledge can save precious time in an emergency.

8. Contact a Professional

Call Matthews Plumbing: We are here if you need any help. For safety and peace of mind, always have a professional plumber inspect the damage and make necessary repairs.

By acting quickly and decisively during a burst water pipe emergency, you can minimise damage to your property and prevent costly repairs. Remember, Matthews Plumbing and Maintenance is here to help with any plumbing emergencies. Contact us immediately at 01444 672796 if you need assistance.

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