Try not to Panic. The first thing to do is Isolate the water supply. Turn off all stop valves (sometimes called stop cocks), which can often be found in the cellar or under the kitchen sink. If there isn’t an internal valve, turn off the water at the external valve, which may be under a cover in the front or back of the property.
If the escaping water doesn’t immediately stop, open all cold water taps so that the pipe work and stored water drains quickly.
DO NOT TURN ON HOT TAPS.
Turn off the central heating system and, if it uses a solid fuel boiler, allow the fire to die out. Switch off any electric immersion heater, and then call a professional plumber.
If a pipe freezes, turn off the mains water supply at the stop valve inside your home or in the street. If the frozen pipe runs from a storage cistern and is not controlled by a valve, check that it hasn’t split. If it has, empty the cold water storage cistern by opening the cold water taps and flushing the WC. If the pipe isn’t split, thaw it out by applying hot water bottles. Always start thawing a pipe at the end nearest the tap. Do not use a naked flame to thaw a pipe. Don’t try to thaw it too quickly as there may be splits in the pipe which are not immediately noticeable.
If any part of the hot water system is frozen, there could be a risk of explosion if the boiler (or other heat source) is kept alight, so ensure it is turned off, or for solid fuel systems, extinguish the fire. Be careful as although water may be flowing from taps, other parts of the system may still be frozen.
If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety, you can call 0800 111 999 at any time, day or night. Your call will not cost you anything.
Just pick up the phone, dial the number and you will be put through to a trained operator who will take all the details.
If you are deaf or hearing impaired and have a Minicom or Textphone the number to call is 0800 371 787.
Do not Ignite a naked flame / strike a match etc. Never touch any electrical appliance (including light switches).
Put out naked flames. Open doors and windows. Turn off the gas supply at the meter using the control valve. Keep people away from the affected area. Leave the building and wait outside.
The following tips may help you reduce the risk of a plumbing emergency and could save unnecessary expense and distress.