What To Do if a Pipe is Leaking in Your House
Good quality pipes, whether they are for water or for gas, can last for years if installed properly and aren’t subject to damage at any point.
But damage can happen, and often unnoticed at the time. It might start as just a relatively insignificant incident, but if it loosens something even a little bit, that could over time develop into something more problematic. And even the best pipes can suffer wear and tear after years of use.
As a result, there may come a time when a pipe develops a leak – and at that point it’s essential that you act quickly to avoid serious damage to your property. If you’re living in or near Colchester, and want to know how to deal with a gas or water leak at your home, read on.
What to do if a Water Pipe is Leaking in Your House
A water leak can cause all kinds of issues, depending on where the leak is and how fast the water is actually leaking. You should bear in mind, however, that these things never get better on their own – if anything, left untended they usually only get worse. Apart from that, if you’re on a water meter, then you’ll be paying for all that wasted water.
So even if it just seems like a minor leak, it’s still best to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
For a minor leak such as a slow drip, put something below where the leak is if you can to catch the water and prevent it from potentially causing damage to whatever is below. For more significant leaks, you’ll need to locate your stopcock and shut the water off entirely.
You could then try and fix the problem yourself, but it’s important that you only do so if you’re completely sure of what you’re doing – we examined some of the pitfalls of DIY plumbing in a previous article.
Your best bet is to get a plumber in as quickly as possible – if you’ve had to turn the water off completely, you’ll naturally want emergency plumbers who can attend quickly, so that you’re not without water for any longer than necessary. But even for that slower leak, it’s best not to wait too long before getting someone in to look at it – because that slow drip could quickly turn into something more significant, and if you’re not there to shut the water off, or you’re in bed at night, the result might be significant damage to your home.
What to do if a Gas Pipe is Leaking in Your House
A gas leak is potentially one of the most serious issues you can face, so if you smell gas and there’s no obvious reason for it, you need to act fast. Natural gas wouldn’t normally have an odour, but because a leak can be so dangerous, a gas called mercaptan is added that produces a smell a bit like sulphur or rotten eggs.
The first thing you should do is open any doors and windows to help ventilate the area. Make sure that there are no naked flames and that nobody uses any electrical switches that might cause a spark and ignite the gas.
Then turn off the gas at the mains – you should find the tap next to the meter (especially in newer houses), although it could be under the stairs, in the garage or under your kitchen sink. It’s worth familiarising yourself with its location now, so that you are ready to respond in an emergency.
Next, leave your home and advise nearby neighbours of the situation so that they can also make themselves safe.
Call the National Gas Emergency number (0800 111 999), which is free and available 24 hours a day. They’ll arrange for local Gas Safe engineers – such as the team at A&D Plumbing Services – to urgently attend the scene.
How to Lessen the Chances of Gas and Water Leaks
Don’t take chances with the safety of you and your family, or with your biggest asset – your home.
All gas appliance and boiler installations must by law be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Regular maintenance is also strongly recommended, as it will give your engineer the chance to spot any signs of wear and tear and carry out preventative measures that might otherwise lead to a serious issue in the future.
While water installations don’t have the same legal requirements, you still need to think carefully about who you get to do them. DIY jobs and enthusiastic amateurs will be cheaper at the time, but if the work isn’t done to the necessary high standards, you may end up paying a lot more in the long run.
A&D Plumbing Services are local Gas Safe registered engineers and plumbers operating in and around Colchester, as well as around the rest of Essex and in Suffolk. We can help with all your gas and plumbing needs, from installing and maintaining new appliances and pipework to dealing with any issues or emergencies that may arise.
If you live in the Colchester area and need the services of professional and reliable local plumbers and gas engineers, then get in touch with us now.