How to quickly prevent a burst pipe or a leak from causing more damage

Due to the wide range of areas around Bristol that we offer our services, it can take from half an hour to an hour for Bristol drain and plumbing emergency plumber to reach you. If, during this time, you have a burst pipe or a leak flooding your home, then this can cause real damage, and the problem can worsen, within this time frame. To prevent this, it is important that you know what to do whilst you wait for our arrival.

Firstly, your stop tap, stop valve or stopcock needs to be located. This is made from some form of metal, usually brass, and it looks similar to a regular tap on your sink except that it has a pipe coming out of either end. This is usually located under the kitchen sink, but it could also be in your downstairs bathroom or in a kitchen cupboard. Alternatively, it may be found on the mains pipe which extends up into your loft. This mains pipe is referred to as the rising main and provides cold water to the cold-water storage cistern.

If you are struggling to find your stop valve then do not panic! In some older houses it may be hiding under your floorboards, or it could be in your pantry. Really it could be in any other room in your house, so have a good look around! In some circumstances it may have even been boarded over by a haphazard kitchen fitter when they were fitting your new kitchen cabinets. If you live in a shared house or in a block of flats, then your stop tap may be in a cupboard, located in your shared hallway, but be careful as the cupboard may also hold the stop taps for the other apartments in your building.

Once you have located your stop tap, the water source to your house or flat must be turned off. To turn the water off, you must turn the handle of the stop tap clockwise until it will not turn any further. This will turn your water supply off and so stop the leak from continuing and causing any more damage.