EMERGENCY PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL
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Helpful Emergency Information

Get help with local plumbing emergencies 

Here at Priority One Plumbing Services, we appreciate that immediate responses to after-hours emergencies are crucial if they are to be promptly managed to protect your property from damage. Therefore, we have listed many of the typical after-hours emergency problems and provided general advice on how to best handle and control them.
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Who is responsible for your water leak?

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ICON Water is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the water meter and any pipes or fittings that lead away from your water meter to the water main. If you have identified a water leak in the ICON network, please phone their 24-hour service faults and emergencies hotline on 02 6248 3111 and press 1. They will then send an authorised crew to attend to the problem.

Building owners are responsible for the installation, repair, maintenance and replacement of all the private water pipes and fittings that run from your property up to the water meter’s outlet riser.

For more information, please download the helpful chart explaining responsibilities in the case of a leak.

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Gas leaks

If you smell gas or suspect you may have a gas leak, immediately locate your gas meter and isolate the entire gas service.

Gas meters are generally located in the front yard of a property, near the property boundary beneath a plastic cover, or mounted on the building inside a wall box, generally below the electrical meter box.

All gas meters have an isolation valve located on the incoming gas main pipe. The isolation valve usually has a red or yellow handle but they can differ, and generally, a ¼ turn valve is fitted.

To isolate the gas meter turn the ball valve to the right until the handle is sitting across the incoming gas pipe. In the ‘ON’ position, the valve handle is aligned parallel to the incoming gas pipe. In the ‘OFF’ position, the valve handle is positioned at 90 degrees across the incoming gas pipe.

Once you have isolated the supply, call us on 1300 786 753 to trace and rectify your emergency.

Gas storage hot water heaters (tank types)

Isolating the water

There will be a copper pipe at the bottom of the HWS leading into the side of the tank. Follow this pipe back to a round black knob or a ball valve handle and turn it to the off position. Turn clockwise for the black knob or turn the handle 90 degrees to the pipe.

This will isolate the incoming water into the hot water heater. The storage hot water heater may still leak as the remainder of the water in the tank is draining.  

Isolating the gas supply

  • Turn the gas control knob to the "★" position (pilot). This setting will leave the pilot flame alight however the main burner will not be able to light.
  • Turn the gas control knob to the "OFF” position. This setting shuts the gas control down completely.

Water pipe bursts and leaks

Burst water pipes in or around your home or building can be isolated from the property’s water meters.

Most water meters are typically located in front yards, approximately two to five meters inside the front property boundary.

Water meters may be installed above or below ground. Below ground water meters may require a screwdriver to assist in opening the lid to gain access to the water meter. Most water meters have a tap on the inlet side, and more recent styles have ball valve style isolation.

  • Tap Style: Turn tap clockwise to isolate incoming water to the property.
  • Ball Valve Style: Turn clockwise until handle locks off, typically it’s a ¼ turn.
     

Isolating the water meter will stop any water leaks or burst pipes on your property and eliminate the emergency.

Once you have isolated the supply, call us on 1300 786 753 to attend to, trace and effectively rectify your emergency.

Instantaneous, continuous flow gas hot water heaters

Isolating the water

Turn off the controllers(s) (if fitted) by pressing the on/off button. Switch off the electrical supply at the power outlet to the water heater. Beneath the heater, there are typically three pipes that lead into the bottom of the heater, “cold water in”, “gas in”, and “hot water out”. These pipes are indefinable by labels on the underside of the heater. Trace the “cold water in” pipe back from the bottom of the heater and locate the water isolation valve. Turn “OFF” the valve to isolate the hot water heater.


Isolating the gas supply

From the bottom of the heater, trace the gas pipe back from the bottom of the heater and locate the gas isolation valve. Turn “OFF” the valve to isolate the gas to the hot water heater.

Blocked drains

Blocked drains are usually only evident once the drain becomes entirely blocked, and either begins to overflow or the toilet bowl no longer drains properly.

Gurgling drains are typically the best indicator that your drains are beginning to block and should be acted on immediately to prevent emergency situations from occurring.

If you’re experiencing blocked or overflowing drains, cease using any water in the house or tipping any water down the drains and call Priority One Plumbing Services immediately on 1300 786 753

If your blockage is only minor and is not posing any health or safety risks, try identifying what fixtures are causing the drain to backup or gurgle and avoid using them until the drains have been unblocked.

If you have multiple toilets, identify which toilet (if not all) is contributing to the blockage and avoid using it.

Roof leaks and stormwater

Blocked gutters, downpipes and general roof leaks can present major problems during heavy storms and rain. During bad weather conditions, it is not advised to attempt to repair any problems, but rather to manage and control the situation.

Protect your property contents and locate the approximate area where the water is entering from so that it can be investigated during normal conditions.

Mops, buckets, and blankets can all help control the situation, but don’t panic, stay in control, and if necessary, call 1300 786 753 and we’ll arrange for one of our technicians to come out and give you a hand.

Running taps or leaking fixtures

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Taps or fixtures that are continually leaking or gushing out water need to be isolated from the water meter. However, there are some circumstances where the individual tap or fixture cannot be isolated independently.

Certain types of fixtures and mixer taps have isolation valves connected to them that allows for the individual isolation of that specific fixture.

If you can locate the isolation valve for the fixture or tap, turn the handle clockwise or for ¼ turn taps, set the handle to 90 degrees.

Individual isolation of fixtures allows the use of water throughout the rest of the property and, therefore, eliminates the emergency.

Burst or leaking hot water heaters

Turning off the water meter can ultimately isolate leaking hot water heaters. However, a more practical solution is to turn off the water heater itself. This allows for the continuation of cold water usage throughout the property and allows toilets and cold water taps to continue functioning.

General recommendations to control your emergency situation

  • Step 1:   Locate your hot water heater. It may be outside, inside, on top of the roof or in the roof space
  • Step 2:   Determine the energy source - gas, electric, solar or heat pump
  • Step 3:   Determine the type of heater, whether it is a storage or instantaneous system 

Electric storage and heat pump hot water heaters (Storage tank types)

Isolating the water

There will be a copper pipe at the bottom of the HWS leading into the side of the tank. Follow the pipe back to a round black knob or a ball valve and turn the handle to off. Turn clockwise for the black knob or turn the handle 90 degrees to the pipe.

This will isolate the incoming water into the water heater. The storage hot water heater may still leak as the remainder of the water in the tank is draining, but it will eventually stop.  

Isolating the power supply

At your electrical switchboard, there should be a switch marked “Hot Water “or “HWS”. Flick the switch to the “OFF” position and this will isolate the power to the hot water heater. If you’re not comfortable isolating the power supply, leave it to us.

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Gas meter isolation valve

"ON" position "OFF" position

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Typical hot water isolation valves

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This type of isolation valve is generally found on storage hot water heaters (tanks)

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Lever handle ball valves

To isolate: Turn handle clockwise until the handle is positioned at 90 degrees to the body of the valve.

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Don’t take any chances with your utilities, call the experts at Priority One Plumbing Services on 1300 786 753 now.

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