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  • Writer's pictureBen Blyth

What to know in case of an emergency?

Updated: May 10

So, you've got a plumbing, heating or gas emergency. What do you need to know and do?

Clearly the first thing you WON'T do when disaster strikes is think "Ah yes, I remember that brilliant and insightful blog post by Lombardi Heating, let me just log on to check their advice...". That is why a couple of simple steps and pieces of knowledge before trouble strikes can save time, stress and an awful lot of money in the long run.

What do you need to know?

The first thing we will do at an emergency job is shut off the cause of the problem. This will almost exclusively be your mains water, your gas or your heating system.

How to shut off water and gas?

If you have an issue with water running somewhere it shouldn't you need to know how to stop it. It's often mains water so if in doubt, go there first:

Mains water - Find out where your water stop tap is and check it. If you don't know, the most common places to look are under your kitchen sink or your cellar. Check your stop tap is still working (it's not uncommon for them not to be); turn on a cold tap, turn off your stop tap and ensure the water stops (it can take a few seconds). Fixing a broken stop tap is normally a straightforward job, best to find out now vs when you need it. Stop taps do seize up from time to time so it's worth turning it on and off quickly every 6 months just to free it up.

Central heating system

If you have shut off your mains water or you know it's the central heating you need to shut that off. How you do this depends on your system.

Sealed system - Combi boiler/system with a pressure gauge on it. These systems don't have water re-filling themselves so in the event of a leak, you just need to drain the system. If you aren't sure how to do this, that's the time to get a heating engineer out. The leak will continue until the water is out of the system so that's the time to contain it as much as you can.

Unsealed (Vented) system - This will be a heating system that has water tanks in your loft. This type of system refills itself. To stop this happening, shut off your mains water. The system will continue to leak as the water level drops but then will stop.

What if it's just an appliance leaking?

In the event it's an appliance such as your boiler, tap or toilet leaking, you may be able to shut off the water to just that appliance.

Boiler - Underneath your boiler, there are a number of valves for your heating and mains water coming in. If you have a leak from your boiler, shut these off and contact a gas safe registered engineer.

Taps, toilets etc - If you have a leak at the tap/appliance, if you find where the water comes in, you may have a small shut off valve to isolate just the appliance itself. It's worth familiarising yourself with these just incase.


If you have any fear of a gas leak. Everyone should leave the property immediately.

If you can safely access your gas meter you should then shut off the gas. Next to your meter you will see a handle that runs inline with the pipe its connected to. Pull this down so it's at a 90 degree angle to the pipe and that should be your gas shut off. You should then immediately call the number on your gas meter (0800 111 999). The supplier will come out free of charge to make everything safe. Then contact a Gas Safe registered engineer who will repair the issue.

For any help or advice on anything in here, contact us for more info.

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