Learn how to cope with this plumbing emergency before it happens. Find out how to turn off the hot and cold water supply so that you can minimise the damage when a pipe bursts, and have the basic tools somewhere handy. But never try and repair a leaking boiler – call in a professional instead.
Time to complete job: About 30 minutes.
Approximate budget: Emergency plumbing kits including a pipe repair kit, spare valves and tap washers cost around £12.
Tip: If someone has hammered a nail into a pipe, don’t try and remove it, as this will make the leak worse. Leave the nail in the pipe.
Turn off the water supply. Cold water: Turn off the main stopcock that is usually in the kitchen. This will stop the flow of cold water into the house. This is normally a brass valve with a circular handle.Hot water: It’s important to switch off your boiler and immersion heater before draining the hot water. Then, turn off the valve on the cold feed pipe to the cylinder and run all the hot water taps to get rid of water in the pipes.
Tie up the ball valve. If you can’t find the cold feed pipe valve, tie up the ball valve in the cold water tank and turn on all the cold water taps to empty the remaining water in the tank. When no more water comes out, run the hot taps until these run dry as well.Tip: You should also turn off the electricity if the water leak is near wiring, sockets or switches.
Remove the leaking section. When the water has been turned off, hold the emergency repair section next to the pipe and mark use a hacksaw to saw through the pipe to remove the leaking section.
Fit the emergency repair. Smooth the ends of the cut pipe with some steel wool. Fit the repair piece using the new olives supplied and tighten the joints.Tip: If you don’t have all the right tools or a repair section, you may be able to temporarily stop the leak by hammering the pipe flat on each side of the leak. Place a block of wood behind the pipe as you hammer.