All homeowners dread the idea of a plumbing emergency. It usually means lots of water everywhere and a very expensive bill. However there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to avoid plumbing disasters and ways to deal with them if they should occur.

Avoid plumbing disasters

Take the time to have your plumbing checked once a year by a professional. This will involve getting into your loft and checking your water storage tanks and connections. The plumber should also look at your central heating system and boiler.

  • Regularly bleed your radiators to avoid air locks which could lead to cold spots and an inefficient system.
  • Check your stopcock every few months to make sure it hasn’t seized. Sometimes these taps can become difficult to turn and may not be able to be turned off just when you need it.
  • Keep you drains clear by regularly using a drain cleaner or removing the plug and pulling out debris. Check the outside drains as well to avoid them becoming clogged with leaves.
  • Don’t pour fat down a drain and keep large pieces of debris out of the pipes. Throw these in the bin.
  • Check your appliance hoses regularly to make sure they are not becoming worn at the seals and to ensure they are still security attached to the appliance and the outlet.
  • Lag your pipes to prevent frozen water and potential burst pipes.

What to do if a plumbing disaster occurs

Always turn off your water at the stopcock as the very first thing you do.

  • You may also need to drain your water tanks by turning on the taps.
  • Assess the damage and decide if it is something you can fix yourself. Blacked pipes may be easily remedied with a plunger, but a broken pipe may require the services of a plumber.
  • Call a professional to fix the problem. Be aware that a call out charge may be required plus an hourly fee.
  • Contact your insurer if there is any damage to your home. They may also recommend a plumber who can help you.

Domestic plumbing can be confusing for anyone without good DIY skills. Before making changes or repairs yourself, consider if you have the right skills. If not always contact a professional to carry out the work quickly and safely.