If a leak happens in your home, you need to control it until help arrives.

How to control a water leak

You can normally do this by turning the water off using the stopcock or gate valves.

Stopcocks are usually under the kitchen sink, and gate valves are on the pipes coming from the cold-water storage tank.

Make sure you know where your stopcock or gate valves are, and keep them in working order by turning them until fully closed and then opening them again twice a year.

If you turn the supply from the tank off, you may need to turn your heating off. If you aren’t sure, ask when you report the leak.

If you cannot stop the leak, you can try to slow it down by directing the leak into a container. You can wrape the leaking pipe with a cloth or towel, and lay this into the container. This will also limit the amount of water spilt onto floor surfaces. Time how long it takes the container to fill, and inform the call handler so that we can assess how urgent the works are.

If electric sockets, light fittings or electrical appliances are getting wet, do not touch them. Turn the supply off at the consumer unit and contact us for help.

Bulging ceiling

If your ceiling is bulging as a result of a leak, put a large bowl or bucket under the bulge and use a sharp tool such as a screwdriver to pierce a hole to let the water through. This will prevent your ceiling from falling down.

Do not do this if the bulge is near a light fitting.