The quality of a houses plumbing is essential for the comfort of the family. When the plumbing is working as it should, water runs from the taps, the family can wash and the radiators can heat up when needed. Once the plumbing malfunctions, there are real problems. That could result in the plumber being called out, and can usually prove expensive. Plumbing is a job for the experts. Unless there is someone in the household who is competent at plumbing, it is best calling in a plumber for any work that needs doing. So it is worth having a contact number for a competent plumber handy. However, there are some plumbing jobs the amateur may deal with, so long as he or she first knows how to do them.
Before embarking on most plumbing jobs it is usually best to switch off the water supply. It is not a difficult thing to do. If the taps are connected to the mains then it is just a case of turning off the indoor stop valve, with a spanner if it is stiff. Once the valve has been turned off, the taps should be opened to make sure the remaining water in the pipes is drained off. For taps that feed off the cistern, the mini-stopcock or gate valve that should be turned off. These sit alongside the cold water tank. Then it is important to remember to leave the taps on to drain off the water in the pipes. If you need to drain the cistern you need to switch it off at the mains, or place a plank across the tank and tie the ball valve to it. This will stop water filling up the cistern. Then turn on the bath taps to drain the surplus water.
You may need to switch off your water supply at the outside stopcock. Of course, you will need to know where the stopcock is. If you are not sure, contact your water company to find out where it is situated. It is then just a matter of removing the cover, inserting the stopcock key and turning it clockwise. Disabling the water supply is important if there is a leak in your property. If you have the skill to fix the leak yourself, then go ahead. If not then contact a plumber without delay. There are insurances available to meet plumbing costs and it is well worth taking one out to cover for those inevitable emergencies that will crop up every now and again.