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Below are a few situations you may find useful if you are struggling for answers when trying to shut down water supplies..........


Turning Off The Water


You may need to turn off the water supply in the house if there’s a plumbing emergency, there’s a minor leak, you need to change a fitting or appliance, or you are making some modification to the plumbing. Knowing how to turn off the various parts of a household plumbing system is essential for these projects.

Mains Water Supply – Direct Feed

If there isn’t a stop valve with in the property or you cannot find it then you’ll have to turn the water off at the Water Authority’s stop valve out in the street. These can sometimes be difficult to find but are normally in the pavement just outside the boundary of your property. The cover to these is usually marked. If you cannot find it you may need to ask the Water Authority for your area or, have a chat with the neighbours. Note that these valves may also control water to some of your neighbours so you’ll need to let them know before closing it. Depending on the valve, you may need a special key to switch this off.

Indirect Feed Water Supply

Many parts of the plumbing system are fed indirectly. Water stored in a cold water storage cistern in the loft supplies all the indirect appliances and outlets such as bathroom taps and toilet cisterns. To turn off the water coming from the cold water storage cistern you will need to shut off the valve on the cistern’s outlet supply. If this can’t be done for some reason, you can put a batten across the top of the cistern and tie up the float valve so that it stays closed. Now drain the cistern by opening the bathroom taps or other outlets served by it.

Hot Water Supply

The hot water in your home may be one of several types and you will need to know whether it is direct feed or indirect feed.If you have a hot water cylinder – usually in the airing cupboard – this will be an indirect supply. There will be a valve on the pipe from the cold water storage cistern to the hot water cylinder. Closing off this valve will stop the feed to the cylinder and therefore the hot water at the taps.


Isolating Water to Individual Appliances

Isolating valves are used for many appliances now. It is common to see an isolation valve on the pipe feeding a wc cistern, washing machine or dishwasher as well as on heating runs and pipes feeding bathroom taps. This is a huge advantage as it means that these can be turned off to isolate them without having to close off all other outlets on the same pipe work. Isolating valves may be either screw head operated or of the lever type and require only a half turn to close or open.


Burst Watermain Temporary Repairs


It is not always practical to carry out a permanent repair immediately on a leaking pipe.

Isolate the water supply to the pipe concerned and drain it down.

A temporary repair can be effected until a permanent repair is possible.

There are two simple techniques which can be employed for this.

Pipe repair using hose and clips

using jubilee clips to effect a repair

Take a piece of garden hose of sufficient diameter to go round the pipe. Cut it lengthways and place it over the damage. Fasten with at least three jubilee clips. One in the centre and one at either end. By tightening these sufficiently, you should be able to seal the hose against the pipe so that no further water escapes.

Pipe repair using epoxy putty

using epoxy putty to effect a repair

Alternatively, use a proprietary brand of epoxy putty. This is a two-part mix which dries hard and will bond itself to most metals provided they are dry. Clean the area of pipe either side of the damage, with emery paper - the putty may not stick otherwise. Mix the two components together as detailed in the manufacturer’s instructions. Press it into place over the damage and smooth it out with a small filling knife. Check to see what thickness is required and also how long it should be left before allowing water to flow through the pipe again.

Permanent repair

Whilst a temporary repair can overcome the immediate problem, it is always advisable to carry out a permanent solution as soon as possible.

Highflo Ltd > Tips & Advice > Burst Pipes and Watermain Shutoff








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