The following tips may help you reduce the risk of a plumbing emergency and could save unnecessary expense and distress.
Don't Panic! The first thing to do is to prevent water passing the point of the leak. Turn off all stop valves (sometimes called stop cocks)
which are often sited under the kitchen sink. If there isn't an internal valve, turn off the water at the external valve which may be under a cover in your garden or path.
If the escaping water cannot be controlled immediately, open all cold water taps so that the pipework and storage system drains quickly. DO NOT TURN ON HOT TAPS. Turn off the central heating system and, if it uses a solid fuel boiler, allow the fire to die out. Switch off any electric immersion heater, then call a professional plumber.
If a pipe freezes, turn off the mains water supply at the stop valve inside your home. If the frozen pipe runs from a storage cistern and is not
controlled by a valve, check that it hasn't split. If it has, empty the cold water storage cistern by opening the cold water taps and flushing the
WC. If you know how to, you could siphon the water from the cistern with a hose pipe, then call a professional plumber. If the pipe isn't split, thaw it out by applying hot water bottles.
If any part of the hot water system is frozen, there could be a risk of explosion if the boiler (or other heat source) is kept alight, so ensure it is turned off, or for solid fuel systems, extinguish the fire. Be careful as although water may be flowing from taps, other parts of the system may still be frozen.