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What to do if you have a burst pipe

Imagine that you come home, open your front door... and are greeted by water pouring from the ceiling. Or that the floor in your bathroom resembles a swimming pool!

Unless you are an expert, this can be a truly shocking and frightening moment. It can also be dangerous. So, there are a few things to do right away to ensure the safety of anyone in your home and, as best you can, to protect both your property and possessions from further damage.

Don’t panic!

Taking these key actions are the first steps towards solving the problem. It’s no use simply running around like Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army!

Something to find out now

Know where your main stop tap (often under the sink or where the service pipe enters your home) or stopcock (at your cold water tank) is located. Find out now. So, if there is an emergency, you can quickly take the first rectifying step. And know where you keep a torch.

Immediate actions to take

If necessary, do a head count of everyone in your home and make sure they either leave (or don’t enter) the property or are as far away from the burst and damage as possible.

Turn off the stopcock or stop tap. Once this is done, you can start to drain the tank as quickly as possible by turning on the cold taps in the kitchen and bathroom and flushing the toilets.

Make sure no-one touches any electrical equipment. Take a moment to turn off the main electricity supply providing there is no wetness near it (you know where you keep your torch). If it is wet, or there is any damage to electrical wiring, call an electrician. Your central heating system should also be switched-off; then you can turn on the hot taps to help the draining process.

Move all items you can from flooded areas; place buckets or pots under any drips to protect from further damage. If a ceiling is bulging and appears ready to burst – and it’s safe to enter the room - piercing through the plaster with a broom handle to let the water drain might minimise the damage to come.

Contact the professionals

There are many professional plumbers in Wakefield; as soon as you’ve taken the above steps it’s time to call on their services. As you get on with the mopping-up operation, they’ll undertake the professional plumbing repair that your burst pipe needs.

The end result

A burst pipe can be a horrible experience. But, if you take these simple steps, you can minimise its effect and keep everybody safe. Don’t forget to ask your plumber for advice to protect against future frozen pipes or plumbing emergencies. After all, winters in Yorkshire can be harsh!

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