St Albans Plumbing Emergencies: What to do
Plumbing emergencies and breakdowns happen to all of us, but don’t worry! Our team of expert plumbers at Baker Smith LTD offer a 24-hour emergency plumbing service, 7 days a week to carry out any emergency plumbing repairs you need in St Albans and the surrounding areas. Read our expert tips, hints and advice designed to prepare you for the most common plumbing emergencies that may come your way and what you should do in each situation.
Burst or Leaky Pipes
Burst and leaking pipes are most common in the winter months. They can be caused by a variety of things, but the most common causes are water pressure build up, faults that wear the pipes down over time, corrosion of old pipes and cold water inside the pipes freezing, causing the pipe to expand until it eventually breaks.
The first thing you should do in the case of a burst or leak is to turn off the water supply and call an emergency plumber. If left too long, dripping water can lead to many issues including water damage to your property, mould, mildew, wood rot and more, so it’s vital you act fast.
While the plumber is on their way, temporarily turn off your central heating systems and electrics to reduce the risk of you being electrocuted. Place an empty bucket under the leaking water to collect it and if you have plumbers tape attempt to seal the plumbing leak to prevent further damage.
If the water leak is coming from a joint you can try to tighten it with a wrench – but be careful! Tightening one joint may loosen another and can lead to further damage to your home.
Clogged Sink or Shower Drain
The most common cause of a clogged shower drain is human hair going down the drain, and the most common cause of a clogged kitchen sink is a build up of food, oil or cooking grease. Blocked drainage systems can prevent the flow of water, leading to a plumbing emergency such as the sink becoming backed up and overflowing.
For a clogged kitchen sink, try using a plunger to dislodge the clog from the plumbing pipe yourself. Instead of using harsh chemicals which can damage your pipes, there are also various home remedies for clearing food blockages from a kitchen sink, including baking soda and vinegar. For a shower drain you can try to soften the clog with hot water before using a drain snake to remove the blockage.
If that doesn’t work, the issue is likely to be caused by something more serious, and you should call a plumber to repair your blocked drain.
A blocked toilet can have many causes, including a build-up of toilet paper, limescale, wet wipes and other waste. Similarly to a clogged sink, try using a toilet plunger or auger to remove the blockage and make sure to keep some towels nearby to clean up any spilt water.
If that doesn’t work you may have a problem with your toilet draining. Call a plumber immediately to reduce the risk of your toilet overflowing.
It’s easy to check for signs that your boiler is broken, including no heating or hot water, strange clunking noises coming from the boiler and regular drops and rises in boiler pressure.
One common cause of boiler faults is electrical problems. Check the power supply is switched on and check your fuse box to see whether a circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown. If this is the case, many boilers come with a soft reset option that essentially turns it off and on again which can reset the power.
If it’s not an electrical problem, it may be an issue with the pressure. Low boiler pressure can be caused by a number of problems, including recently bled radiators, a system leak, a failed component or seal. Check the pressure gauge on your boiler, if the needle isn’t in-between the 2 red lines it may need repressurising. Check the manufacturer’s guide for instructions on how to repressurise your boiler.
If you cannot fix your boiler yourself it is important to call a Gas Safe registered heating engineer to carry out essential repairs before the problem gets worse. Leaving a broken down boiler for too long can put you in danger and end up costing you more money when it comes to getting it fixed.
Signs of a gas leak include smelling sulphur or rotten eggs, hissing and whistling noises from gas pipes, damaged gas lines and bubbles in water. A gas leak is one of the most dangerous plumbing emergencies, don’t attempt to carry out a gas leak repair yourself.
If you smell gas, or notice any other signs of a gas leak, get yourself, your family and any pets outside as quickly as possible. Do not use anything electric and do not smoke as this can ignite the escaping gas and lead to a potentially deadly gas explosion or fire.
If you can reach it safely, turn off your gas supply at the mains and open all the windows and doors while you wait for an emergency plumber to arrive.
Low Water Pressure
If the low water pressure is coming from a shower, it may be due to sediment build-up and mineral deposits on the aerators. This can be easily solved by soaking the shower head in vinegar to clean it, or even simply buying a new shower head.
If the low water pressure is not coming from your shower, it may be caused by pressure in the water main not being enough to travel through your plumbing system and to the rest of your house. Check if your main water valve (also called a stop valve or stopcock) is fully open, and check for blockages, leaks and other plumbing damage which may be blocking the water flow.
If you still can’t find the cause it may be a more serious problem, such as a burst water main, and you should call an emergency plumber as soon as you can. If left too long, low water pressure can damage household appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and even your boiler.
24 Hour Emergency Plumbing Repairs With Baker Smith
Plumbing emergencies can be prevented with regular checks and maintenance, but if you need a plumber in St Albans, Baker Smith LTD’s reliable team of Gas Safe engineers and reliable plumbers are always on hand to help with any emergency plumbing services you need.
Read more about our St Albans emergency plumbing services online or call us now on 01727 730 590 for a rapid response with no hidden fees!