Whether it’s a burst pipe, a worrying smell of gas, or a cold snap that’s frozen your pipes, we all hope disaster never happens. But if it does, remembering these simple steps will help you fend off the worst.
‘I have A Burst Pipe…’
If you discover a leaking or burst pipe, the most important thing to do is immediately stop the flow of water through that point.
Firstly, use your stopcock to turn off the flow of water from the mains supply into your property.
(If you’re not sure what or where your stopcock is, check out our article on its importance. Find it and check it’s in working order today!)
Next, run all your cold water taps (not the hot ones), which will help drain the water out of your pipes and storage system quickly. Turn off your central heating system and any immersion heaters.
Once you’ve done these, call us!
‘I Smell Gas…’
Call National Grid’s free emergency 24-hour helpline. The number is 0800 111 999, or 0800 371787 for the hard of hearing.
Turn off your gas supply at the meter. Put out, and never ignite, any naked flames, including matches, lighters etc. Don’t touch or use any electrical appliances, including light switches. Open all doors and windows to aid ventilation, and keep people away from the vicinity of the suspected leak.
‘I Have Frozen Pipes…’
If one of your pipes is frozen, turn your water supply off at your stopcock, run your cold taps to drain the pipes and system of water quickly, and turn off your boiler.
If the pipe hasn’t split or burst, you can try thawing it out yourself using hot water bottles or something similar. Remember to always start thawing the pipe from the end nearest the tap.
Never use naked flames to thaw a pipe, and always proceed with caution and patience, as there may be cracks or splits which aren’t immediately obvious.
If the frozen pipe has split, or you’re not sure, get in touch with us!
Taking preventative action
So what can you do to make sure disaster doesn’t strike in the first place?
You can greatly reduce the chances of an incident happening by making sure your plumbing, heating and gas systems are kept properly maintained.
Get your equipment and appliances serviced regularly by reputable, qualified plumbers and heating specialists like XP Plumbing and Heating. And if you have gas appliances, only ever use a Gas Safe registered engineer like us. Faulty gas appliances can be fatal. Read our article on gas safety for more information.
At XP Plumbing and Heating, you can call us any time, day or night. We provide a 24/7 response, so in an emergency, you’ll know we’ve got you covered.
Our fleet of qualified, experienced engineers and vehicles means we have great coverage across the local area - including Eltham, Bexleyheath, Bromley, Chislehurst and Greenwich - as well as the rest of London and north Kent.