It can be worrying to suddenly discover you’ve no water in your home. The reason is often simply that your local water provider has temporarily shut off the water for repairs. In this guide we will help you to diagnose the problem and get help.
Are your neighbours affected?
If your neighbours have also lost their water supply then you can be fairly certain that this is a temporary loss of supply in your area, and you should contact your local water supplier for more information. The Consumer Council for Water maintains a list of water suppliers, which you may find helpful.
Check the whole house
If the problem is isolated to your home:
- Check all your cold taps. Checking hot taps can be deceptive because your hot water system may have a storage tank that would allow hot water to flow regardless.
- If you get water from some cold taps but not others, allow it to run for a few seconds to make sure that you aren’t simply seeing the water stored in the pipes flowing out.
- Be sure to turn the taps off after you check, even if no water is coming out.
- If all cold taps are affected, but your neighbours are unaffected, the most likely cause is that one of your stopcocks has been turned off.
- If you’re not sure where these are, use our handy guide to help you find them, and ensure they are fully open.
- If the problem persists you may need to contact your local water supplier, as the issue may be with the supply pipe to your property.
If only some taps are affected
If the problem is limited to only some cold taps, the problem is likely to be either with the pipe that supplies those taps, or with a valve that controls the supply.
- If you’ve recently had plumbing work carried out, it’s possible the water was not turned back on for these outlets. You can read more about in-line valves in our guide to the subject. If in doubt, you will need to call a plumber.
- If you’re experiencing problems but have had no plumbing work done on the house, and you are within the two-year warranty period for your home, please get in touch using the contact box on this page.
In extremely cold weather it’s possible that the water in your pipes could freeze. If there has been a severe cold snap and you suspect frozen pipes:
- Check your water company hasn’t turned off your supply (see above).
- Turn off the water using the stopcock and drain the system by flushing toilets and letting taps run.
- Turn off your central heating
- Once you’ve checked for any damage, turn on all the taps and thaw the pipes with warm towels or a hot water bottle.
- Once the pipes have thawed, turn off the taps and switch the supply back on at the stopcock.
- If you now discover leaks or other damage, call an approved plumber.
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