What to do in a drainage emergency

Overflowing drain

We rely on the drainage in our homes and workplaces on a daily basis, but we do so without really giving it a second thought. When we turn our taps, we don’t even consider something might be wrong unless the water doesn’t come out immediately. A blocked drain is annoying, and waiting for it to be fixed can obstruct your daily schedule, but compared to the worst-case scenarios of drain issues, a blockage is a minor problem. When you encounter a full-scale drainage or drainage emergency, it is important that you have a contingency plan in place to help you deal with it as safely and efficiently as possible.

Call your water supplier

The first thing to do if you suffer a drainage emergency is call your water supplier. If a pipe has burst in your local area, you will need to know what exactly has happened and how long you will be without water for. Be prepared for a bit of a wait when you call if the issue is widespread. As well as calling, look out for their social media channels and also the local news for more information. They may provide regular updates on social media which will be easily viewable during busy times, where as you may have to wait a while before getting through on the phone.

Turn off your stop tap

Water stopcock

You need to shut off the water in your property if there is a burst pipe on your premises, or it is discovered that your water supply is contaminated. The stop tap is usually located under the kitchen sink, on the pipes that run down from the sink itself.

Repair small leaks

If you notice any minor leaks that are easy to reach and you have the sufficient skill to seal them, do so. Things like small holes in piping can be fixed with specialist tape or even by tying a towel or rag around the pipe. Placing buckets under dripping leaks will help minimise further damage. Once your drainage expert arrives, make sure to inform them of all the leaks that you have repaired yourself, as this will help them with their work.

Gather an emergency water supply

This should be a priority once you notice that you have a drainage emergency. As mentioned before, there could be a long wait for your water supply to be switched back on while the problem is rectified. Each person in your household should be consuming around a gallon of water a day, so ensure that you have enough bottles of water in place to keep everyone hydrated while your water supply is out of action. Buy as much as you can to prepare for another water emergency, but take care to date the bottles – they should be kept fresh and replaced every six months.

Know your evacuation procedure

In order for you to have to evacuate your property, you would need to experience a drainage emergency of the most severe variety, which is unlikely. However, in the event that you do need to evacuate, it is important that you are fully aware of your procedure and what you need to do before you leave. Shutting off your water, gas and electricity supplies is vital; as is draining your pipes, toilet and taking your emergency water supplies with you.


There are certain drainage issues that you can take precautions against. Insulating your pipes can stop them from freezing and eventually cracking in winter – sheep wool, fibreglass and many other options are available for pipe insulation – contact a drainage professional for more information and advice. You can also help prevent small problems with your pipes by having them inspected and maintained – this way, any potential issues will be spotted and rectified early, before they worsen and create a whole new set of problems.

If you encounter a drainage issue, it is important that it is resolved as quickly as possible, in order to save time, money and hassle. Whether you have a blocked pipe in your home or a leak in your commercial premises, if these issues are not dealt with efficiently then they will only get worse.

Express Drainage Solutions are the leading providers of drainage installation, maintenance and repairs for domestic and commercial customers throughout the South East. To find out more about what we do, please get in touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Want more information?Contact us today on 020 3124 1785

EDS unblocked and repaired over 20,000 drains last year for the residents and businesses of London.

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