Where there is plumbing there will always be plumbing issues.
Whilst there is never a good time for plumbing issues to occur, the last thing you want is an emergency call out when it could have been prevented.
If a plumbing emergency was to occur, isolating the water in a timely manner may save you thousands in damages to your property and personal items. Isolating the water to a specific fixture may also get you by without the need for an after-hours call out!
The first thing you want to assess is the location of the main isolation valve to your property. This is the valve that is installed directly upstream of the water meter. Although there is no standard location for the water meter assembly, they will generally be installed just outside the front of the property in a black plastic box. Unit complexes will have different locations for individual isolation valves and the body corporate/building management should be contacted to confirm the location.
The most common types of isolation valves installed in Brisbane have either a black plastic handle or a straight brass handle.
- If you have the black plastic handle, turning this clockwise until you feel it seals will isolate the water.
- If you have the straight brass type, turning this handle 90 degrees (perpendicular to the pipework) will isolate the water.
- If any issues are found with the valve, handle or the water meter, report this to Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) as it is their property and responsibility to maintain.
The next thing you want to assess is whether or not there are isolation valves at individual fixtures.
Toilets: Toilets almost always have their own isolation valves and are most commonly installed at a low level on the wall or floor. If pipework is not visible then the isolation valve may be located inside the cistern (be careful removing the lid!).
Basins: Check inside the cabinet where the water pipes come from either the floor or the wall and connect into the tap.
Kitchens: Check inside the cabinet where the water pipes come from either the floor or the wall and connect into the tap. Dishwashers will also have their own isolation valve.
Laundries: Check inside the cabinet where the water pipes come from either the floor or the wall and connect into the tap (if the taps are in the wall the pipework will not be visible). Washing machines will also have their own isolation valves.
Water heaters: Water heaters will have their own isolation valve to control the hot water supply to all fixtures, this will be located on the inlet pipe and will be the first valve installed as the pipe comes out of the wall.
Once you have assessed the location of these individual isolation valves it is good practice to test their functionality by turning the valve off and then opening the tap (or flushing the toilet) to ensure the water has been isolated to that fixture. If any issues are found with these valves, a plumber will be needed to either service or replace them as required.
Now the isolation valves have been located and tested/repaired and are all functional. In the event of an emergency water leak/burst pipe, you will be equipped with the knowledge and ability to either isolate an individual fixture, isolate the hot water at the water heater or isolate the cold water inlet at the water meter until a plumber can arrive and repair the issue.
If a plumbing emergency occurs, then give GRK Plumbing a call.