This is what you should do

No matter where you are in Bristol, or which plumbing emergency you are experiencing, we are here to help, and we will be sure to attend to any of your plumbing needs! We are a dedicated, experienced, local, 24-hour plumbing team, and we offer professional gas engineering, drainage and plumbing expertise for any problem you may be experiencing. All of our services come with a quality guarantee, and we will always aim to be with you within an hour for an emergency, regardless of where you are in Bristol.

We have an emergency plumber in every corner of Bristol whether that is the City Centre, Harbourside and Hotwells, Park Street, the Triangle, Whiteladies Road, Clifton Village, Cotham, Redland, St Andrews, Southville, Bedminster, Totterdown, Stokes Croft, St. Pauls, Montpellier, St. Weburghs, Easton, Stoke Bishop, Sneyd Park, Westbury-on-Trym, Henleaze, North Bristol, Bradley, Stoke and Stoke Gifford. Expected times for us to get to you can vary on location, but we will always be with you as soon as possible! 

If you do find yourself with an urgent plumbing emergency, please get in touch, and we will be with you as soon as possible. Whilst you are waiting for our arrival, you may need to find a temporary solution to your plumbing crisis. To help with this, we have included a useful guide below on how to easily and effectively stop a leak or a burst pipe so that the issue doesn’t worsen before we can get to you.


How to quickly prevent a burst pipe or a leak from causing more damage | If the leak does not stop right away | If the leak will not stop at all | If the cold-water pipe is leaking | If the hot water pipe is leaking | Make a note of the task at hand | Doing your research | Making the call | Insurance | Comparing quotes and making a decision.

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.

If the leak does not stop right away:

Using the stop valve to turn off the water will not be able to immediately cut off the leak as at least some residual water will still remain in the pipes. To prevent too much water draining out of the leak you can turn on the kitchen tap for cold water and the water will come out of your tap instead of through the leak.

If the leak will not stop at all:

If, once the stop valve has been turned off, the leak still continues with no change, then it means that the leak is not actually on the mains pipeline. This could mean that, if you have a combi boiler and the leak continues, that you have a burst radiator or a burst radiator pipe. If this is the case, the leak will keep going until the radiator, and any linked pipes, are empty and no longer have any water in them. In this situation, the full capacity of the central heating system may spill out. This could amount to the full contents of every radiator.

If your property does not contain a combi boiler, then the water running through your radiators is most likely provided by a feed and expansion cistern. This tank is usually in the loft and it holds all the water that then goes into your radiators. Turning of the mains water supply will stop the tank from filling up with water. This should cause the water from the leak to slow down and stop, but the water that is already within the radiators may still spill out until the leak stops.

If the cold-water pipe is leaking:

If the mains have been switched off but there is still a leak, and it is coming from a cold pipe and will not stop, then this might be because of your cold-water tank. It is likely that this will be located in your loft. If you have turned the mains supply off this is a great start but, even with this off, there can still be up to 50 gallons of water sitting in the water tank that can potentially leak into your property. To prevent this from happening, and the water spilling through the leak, you need to turn off your gate valve on your cold outlet pipe. This is often positioned somewhere nearby the cold-water tank (and so usually within your loft.) If you are unable to enter your loft for any reason then you can drain the contents of your cold-water tank by turning all of your hot taps on. To make this process even faster you can turn on all of your cold taps as well, but this will only work successfully if the cold taps are not fed by your mains.

If the hot water pipe is leaking:

Once your mains have been switched off, if the leak is still continuing and it is still continuously coming from a hot water pipe (which is not a part of your central heating), then this will also be coming from your cold-water tank in your loft. Hot water comes from your cold-water tank as gravity moves the water into your hot water cylinder from the tank and it then travels into your pipes.

A leak from a hot water pipe can instantly be stopped to avoid further damage by locating and turning off your gate valve. This will be on your cold supply pipe which should be connected to the hot water cylinder and can easily be identified as a red handle that looks like a wheel. This will usually be in your airing cupboard and should be located on the lowest pipe that connects to your hot water cylinder.

If turning the gate valve near your hot water cylinder does not work then you can turn on all of your hot taps. As mentioned above, this will definitely empty the contents of your cold-water tank. As before, additionally opening your cold taps at the same time as your hot taps will ensure that this process happens faster but, for this to work, you must ensure that your cold taps are not supplied by your mains.

Before you call Bristol Drain and Plumbing emergency plumber do give some thought into whether you actually do need our help. 

This is a vital point to consider as some plumbing or drainage problems can be solved very easily and quickly without our professional help. For example, there could be the problem of an overflowing toilet cistern. In this situation a customer may be alarmed and contact us as this can cause water to emerge from the toilet and from the overflow pipe that is on the side of your property. However, a problem like this can easily be resolved as, when we have been called out to cases like this before, a quick examination of the cistern let us diagnose the problem rapidly. This, as is often the case, was caused by the flat having become unscrewed from the arm of the ball valve. To resolve this, all that was needed was for the ball valve to be screwed back onto the float arm and the problem was solved. This took only a matter of seconds and could easily be done at home if you know what to look for.

There are many more complicated situations, however, where you will require our professional help. For example, even if you have successfully prevented the issue from progressing, you may not have the resources, or the time, to fix the problem permanently. In some situations, where you are able to solve the issue yourself, it may even be that it is simply easier and more cost effective for you to hire a professional as resources can be expensive and not everyone can take time from work to solve complicated issues.

Regardless, if you feel that you are unable to successfully identify the issue or if you feel more comfortable using a professional service, then calling Bristol Drain and Plumbing Emergency plumber is the best option for you! There are, of course, also some procedures that should only be performed by correctly qualified individuals, like the removal of asbestos or operating on appliances which are powered by gas. For problems like these, please do give us a call, and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Make a note of the task at hand:

Before you give us a call at Bristol Drain and Plumbing Emergency Plumber, it will be extremely helpful to make a note of all of the details of the problem that you are experiencing. This will ensure that, when speaking to us, nothing is forgotten, and we can be fully informed about the task at hand. This also allows for us to send you the best person for the job and means that your plumber will be well-informed and prepared when they arrive to fix your problem. Please ensure that you also let us know how long the problem has persisted for, as well as any measures that you may have taken to attempt to solve the issue.

Doing your research:

 If you have the time and resources, it is certainly worthwhile researching your issue before getting in touch with Bristol Drain and Plumbing Emergency Plumber to resolve the problem. For instance, if you have a gravity-fed shower and it stops running, then there are several viable ways that this can be fixed. A quality plumber will talk you through several of these options, and recommend certain options based on your current system. When entering this discussion, it is best if you already have an idea of what you are interested in and this is where it can be very effective to already have an idea of the options available to you and details of your problem. The more you know about what you are looking for, the more accurate the plumber can be when delivering what you are after.

Making the call:

Once you are informed and know that you are in need of our help, it is time to give us a call! Over the phone you can explain your issue to us and how you would like us to resolve this for you, especially if you are needing a new system or wanting to replace something. The notes that you have made from your research should help you to explain your issue and desired outcome in detail.

Over the phone, Bristol Drain and Plumbing Emergency Plumber may be able to quote you with a rough estimate for the cost of what you need, but this will not always be possible. Once the plumber has visited your property and examined the damage for themselves, they will then be able to give you a better idea of the costing depending on what you need doing. We are, however, able to provide you with our hourly rate and the cost for the initial call-out over the phone straight away as these do not vary. We can also provide a rough idea of the cost of any parts or equipment that may be required.


Please be aware that we do have insurance and this will cover properties that are adjoining or next door to your property. We also provide guarantees with any work that we execute and our guarantees are backed up by our insurance policy. This means that any jobs that we have executed for you are covered by our insurance, even if the company has to close or goes bust.

Comparing quotes and making a decision:

We recommend that every customer gets in touch with at least three or four different plumbers for a few different opinions. Ideally these different plumbers should all visit your property to assess the damage, provide you with different solutions and give you an estimated quote for how much they would charge with the repair or service. Obviously, if you are in an emergency, it is unlikely that you will have the time to do this, so in this kind of situation it may be best to get in touch with your trusted, local emergency plumber that you can contact as easily and quickly as possible (so note down our number for ease.)

Plumbers do not have a standard pay rate, so this adds to the importance of getting several quotes and opinions as rates can vary greatly. It is also important that you do not rush into going with one plumber over another. As work like this can be expensive and some plumbing work can take a good amount of time, it is important that you make the right decision for you and anyone else that you may live with. Discussing it with others in your household is also important, and we understand that it may take time for you to come to a final decision as decisions about your home and work being done to it are very important and impactful to your home and everyone in it.