Gas escape

In a gas emergency act quickly and take the following safety steps:

  • Get fresh air immediately. Open all doors and windows to ventilate the room
  • Switch off the appliance and do not use it again until it has been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • Turn off the gas supply at the mains
  • Call the National Gas Emergency number (see below)
  • If you are feeling ill visit your GP or the hospital immediately and tell them that your symptoms may be related to carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to check and fix the appliance.

National Gas Emergency number: 0800 111 999

Burst pipe

A gushing plumbing leak can dump several gallons per minute into your home. You have to act fast to stop the stream – and that’s just the beginning.

  • Stop the flow: Shutting off the main water valve is an obvious move. But there may still be a few gallons of water held in pipes above the leak. Turn on the lowest taps in the house, which will let the water harmlessly drain out of the taps instead of through the leaking pipe.
  • Don’t delay cleanup: The longer things stay wet, the more likely you’ll have permanent damage. Delay can even lead to mold problems inside walls, which can cost thousands to eradicate.
  • Do not touch any wet electrical fittings.
  • Call a plumber and electrician if electrical fittings have been affected.
  • Contact your home insurer.

Frozen condensate pipe

How to defrost the pipe

If you suspect that your boiler condensate pipe has frozen, following steps should help you get things back to normal quickly. Remember, if you don’t feel competent to follow this guidance then you should contact a boiler engineer for help.

1. Confirm the condensate pipe is frozen
Depending on the make of your boiler, a frozen condensate pipe may be indicated by a ‘fault code’ or warning light on the boiler’s display. Gurgling or bubbling sounds coming from the boiler or the condensate pipe are another sign that the condensate pipe has frozen.

2. Locate the blockage
The pipe is probably frozen at its most exposed point. This may be the open end of the pipe, or at a bend or elbow. Running your hands over the pipe until you find a section that feels colder than the rest should help you identify the blockage quickly.

3. Thaw the pipe
Using a jug or watering can, pour warm water along the length of the pipe, repeating the process until the pipe has thawed (don’t use boiling water as this can crack or damage the pipe). Alternatively, you can use a hot water bottle or a heat pack to slowly defrost the pipe.

4. Restart your boiler
Once the frozen section has been melted and cleared, check your boiler manual for instructions on how to reset the boiler correctly. Your boiler should now restart correctly. If you boiler doesn’t restart you will need to call out a qualified boiler engineer.