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9 tips for emergency plumbing situations

A plumbing emergency can happen any time. Regardless of whether you are a homeowner or tenant, it is essential that you know what to do in an emergency plumbing situation. Our emergency plumbing experts at Newman and Barker Plumbing share our top 9 tips.

1. Burst pipe

A burst pipe is a major plumbing emergency. If it happens, immediately shut off the main water valve to your home. This will cut off the water supply to your home entirely, preventing it from becoming flooded. It is important you know where your water shut off valve is before a problem occurs. The shut off valve is often found near your water meter. Next, call an emergency plumber. With the increase in DIY trends, you might be tempted to fix plumbing issues yourself, however there are some repairs for which we will always recommend calling in a pro. A burst pipe is one of them.

2. Disconnect your electrical system

Before you start cleaning up the water from a burst pipe, you need to turn off the electrical system. Electric panels are often located outside or in the garage or carport. If water is blocking your path to the meter box, call an electrician.

3. Turn off your hot water system

In the event of a major plumbing emergency, we recommend turning your hot water system off. After the main water valve is shut off, make sure you turn your water heater off too. This will prevent it from overheating or bursting which can cause even more damage.

4. Gas leaks

If you believe there is a major gas leak and the situation may be dangerous to life or property, call 000. Try to find the source of the smell. Check your stove gas burner, other gas appliances or the piping near your gas meter. If you cannot identify the source or it is coming from an appliance that is turned off, switch the gas handle on your meter to the off position. Open your windows for better ventilation. Turn off all gas appliances and switch off your electricity at the fuse box. From outside the home, call a licensed plumber. If you are renting, contact your real estate agent. After calling a plumber, contact your local gas distributor. You can usually find the phone number on your bill. If you don’t know who distributes gas to your area, contact the Australian Energy Regulator.

5. Take care using chemicals

While store-bought drain cleaners might get you out of a plumbing emergency in the short-term, they don’t always solve the problem. If used incorrectly, chemicals can damage your pipes. A licensed plumber will not only repair your blocked drain but will identify the cause to prevent the problem reoccurring.

6. Contain small leaks


Do your best to temporarily stop small leaks until an emergency plumber arrives. Use buckets to catch the drips and wrap plumbers’ tape or duct tape around pinhole leaks.

7. Leaking toilet

A leaking toilet can cause water bills to increase if the leak is not fixed quickly. A licensed plumber is the best person to contact when repairing or replacing a leaking toilet. The plumber’s quick diagnosis and installation will save time and money in trying to source parts yourself. While you are waiting for a plumber to arrive, turn the water off at the cistern. Turn it back on when the toilet needs to be used. The flex hose connecting the cistern to the toilet stop tap should be checked occasionally for wear and tear. If you notice damage to the metal hose, you will need to get it replaced.

8. Small drain blockage

Small blockages causing the drain to slow can be moved with a plunger. First, fill the sink, bath or shower base with about 10cm of water. Cover the drain hole with the plunger ensuring there is water in the cup of the plunger. Plunge firmly for about 30 seconds before pouring hot (nearly boiling) water down the drain after you have cleared the blockage. If you don’t have a plunger, try using dishwashing detergent and hot water. Pour a teaspoon of your standard detergent in the affected drain. Pour 1-2 litres of hot (nearly boiling) water down the drain. Repeat as needed.

9. Repeated drain blockages from tree roots

Trees may look great on your property but unfortunately tree roots enjoy finding their way into sewer and stormwater drains which often leads to blocked and damaged pipes. Thankfully, you don’t have to dig up your yard to replace a damaged pipe. With the latest “no dig” technologies, Newman and Baker Plumbing can reline a damaged pipe without the need to dig it up. For more information about pipe relining, talk to our team.

Hiring the right emergency plumber in Sydney

Do you have a plumbing emergency? Newman and Barker Plumbing specialise in plumbing emergencies, hot water system repairs and servicing. Our hot water services cover both gas and electric systems. Our other specialties include backflow prevention testing, commercial plumbing and gas plumbing.

Our plumbers cover a wide service area of Sydney, including Campbelltown, Narellan, Thirlmere, Camden, Bowral, Tahmoor, Appin, Bargo, Picton, Wilton, Mittagong, Braemar, Wattle Ridge, Yerrinbool and Hill Top.

For more information and quotes, contact our hot water specialists at Newman and Barker Plumbing on (02) 4625 5409 or online here. You can also connect with us on Facebook.

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