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Plumbing Emergencies: What to Do Before the Plumber Arrives

4 mins | Blog | Jul 4, 2024

A plumbing emergency can strike at any time, leaving you stressed and unsure of what to do next. Whether it’s a burst pipe, an overflowing toilet, or a severe leak, knowing the right steps to take before a plumber arrives can help minimise damage and make the repair process smoother. Here are some essential actions to consider during a plumbing emergency.

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

The first and most crucial step in any plumbing emergency is to shut off the water supply. This action will help prevent further water damage and control the situation. Locate your main water shut-off valve, typically found near your water meter or where the main water line enters your home. Turn the valve clockwise to stop the flow of water. Additionally, you may need to turn off individual valves for specific fixtures if the problem is localised.

2. Switch Off the Water Heater

If the plumbing emergency involves hot water, it’s important to turn off your water heater to prevent overheating or potential damage. For electric water heaters, switch off the power at the circuit breaker. For gas heaters, turn off the gas supply. This step helps avoid further complications and ensures safety while you wait for professional help.

3. Address Minor Leaks

For small leaks, you can use plumber’s tape or a cloth to temporarily seal the area and reduce water flow. Placing a bucket or container under the leak can also help catch dripping water and minimise damage to your floors or belongings. While this is not a permanent fix, it can provide temporary relief until the plumber arrives.

4. Clear the Area

If the plumbing issue is causing water to spread, clear the affected area of any valuable items, furniture, or electronics that could be damaged. Move these items to a dry, safe location to prevent further loss. Additionally, use towels or mops to soak up standing water and reduce the risk of slips and falls.

5. Open Drains and Spigots

To relieve pressure in your plumbing system and drain any remaining water, open your taps and outdoor spigots. This action helps to empty the water lines and can prevent additional water from leaking into your home. Be sure to have containers ready to catch any water that flows out.

6. Document the Damage

Take photos or videos of the affected areas and any visible damage. This documentation can be useful for insurance claims and for providing the plumber with a clear understanding of the problem. Detailed records can also help you keep track of repairs and prevent similar issues in the future.

7. Stay Calm and Call a Professional

Finally, remain calm and contact a professional plumber to handle the emergency. Provide them with as much information as possible about the issue and the steps you have taken so far. A calm and organised approach will help the plumber diagnose and fix the problem more efficiently.


Plumbing emergencies can be daunting, but knowing what to do before the plumber arrives can make a significant difference. By following these steps, you can mitigate damage, ensure safety, and streamline the repair process. Remember, the key is to act quickly and methodically to protect your home and belongings.

For any plumbing emergencies or regular maintenance needs, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experienced professionals. We’re here to help you keep your plumbing system in top condition.

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