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Emergencies

Water leaking out of a pipe on top of a water heater

Burst and frozen pipes are classed as water emergencies and can cause serious damage to your home’s structure and electrical wiring. The following steps describe what you should do as soon as you discover a burst or frozen pipe.

If your main stop tap is not working and you have arranged for a plumber to fix it, please call us on 01429 858 050 with at least 48-hours notice to arrange an appointment to turn off the water at our main stop tap. Please note that if you need the water supply to be restored out of normal office hours ( 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays) a fee to turn on the water out-of-hours may apply.

If your supply pipe has burst, or you would like to report a leak, please call freephone* Leakage Hotline 0800 028 4816 during office hours, and as soon as possible  for emergencies out of office hours.

*Calls from mobile phones may not be free; ensure you check with your mobile phone provider first.

Burst pipe emergency

  1. Turn off the water supply

    Turn off the main stop tap – you should find this under your kitchen sink or where the service pipe enters your home. Drain the system – turn on all your cold taps   If the pipe has been leaking for some time and the ceilings are bulging with water – be careful as rooms may not be safe to enter. If you notice the leak quickly, you can catch dripping water in buckets. Punch a hole in the ceiling to let water out if it starts to bulge.  
  2. Turn off water heating systems

    Switch off the central heating, immersion heater and any other water heating systems. If the central heating uses solid fuel, let this die out.   Once the heating has shut down, turn on the hot taps to help drain the system  
  3. Turn off the electrics

    If water leaks near your electrics or electrical appliances, switch off at the mains immediately. If the mains switch is wet, don’t touch!  
  4. Call a professional to repair the damage

    Electrical wiring damaged by water can be very dangerous – you will need to call in a professional if this happens.    

Frozen pipe emergency

A frozen pipe is also an emergency, because this may result in it bursting, causing thawed water to leak from the break. The following steps describe what you should do as soon as you discover a frozen pipe.  

  1. Turn off the water supply

    Turn off the main stop tap – you should find this under your kitchen sink or where the service pipe enters your home.   Turn off the stopcock in your cold water tank if you have one. It is usually in the attic or loft.  
  2. Beat the burst

    Protect everything around the pipe that appears to be frozen to avoid damage if it bursts.  
  3. Thawing out

    Open the tap nearest to the part of the pipe you think is frozen, so the water can flow through when it has melted.  

Thaw the ice in the pipe with a hot water bottle or hairdryer (taking care to keep it well away from any water), beginning from the tap end and working back toward the cold water tank. Never use a heat gun or blow torch.  

 

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