If you suddenly have no running water, it’s good to know which problems you can fix and which ones need a plumber or your water company’s help.
This guide offers practical advice to quickly identify and resolve common water supply issues in your home.
Check All Your Taps
The first step is to check other taps in your home like your bathroom and kitchen ones.
This helps determine whether the issue is isolated to one area or a widespread problem affecting your entire household.
If your kitchen taps are fine, but the bathroom taps aren’t, then your mains supply is unlikely to be the problem.
If it’s just one tap that isn’t working, a plumbing issue in the house is the likely culprit.
Ask the Neighbours
Quickly check with your neighbors to see if they’re experiencing the same issue.
This helps determine if it’s a problem with your home’s plumbing or a broader issue with the local water supply.
If your neighbour is experiencing issues, it’s likely a burst water main.
Get in touch with your local water provider for updates and to report the issue.
Is the Mains Supply Switched On?
You should check the mains supply to your home is switched on if more than one or all of your taps aren’t working.
You can do this by locating your stopcock (cold water supply). It is usually located under the kitchen sink.
Once located, turn your mains tap (typically the kitchen cold tap) on slowly and ensure the stopcock valve is turned fully anti-clockwise.
The water should be restored if the stopcock was the problem.
Check for frozen pipes
Frozen pipes can stop water flowing from your faucets. Pipes without proper insulation are particularly susceptible.
If you’ve got a modern high efficiency condensing boiler it’s likely the condensate pipe that’s frozen.
Inspect the pipe connecting to your tap. If frozen, you can use a hairdryer or warm water from a kettle to unfreeze.
A frozen condensate pipe might also cause your boiler to lock out and stop water flowing.
If there is a leak, be sure to call a plumber to get it fixed.
Inspect Your Cold Water Cistern
If there’s no water running but the stopcock is on and your neighbours don’t have any problems, check the cold water cistern.
This supplies water to every cold water outlet in the house, and the issue could be the ball valve is stuck, causing the tank to empty and stopping the flow of water to your taps.
To fix, carefully pull the float arm until free, remove the ball and clean thoroughly before reasserting. The tank should refill and restore the water flow.
Check for an Air-Lock in Your Pipes
It’s possible that your faucet has an airlock or vapor lock. This is when air becomes trapped in your hot water tap or central heating system.
Airlocks usually resolve themselves in well-designed low pressure water systems.
However, if you need to manually clear a blockage, either bleed your radiators or connect a hosepipe to the hot and cold water faucets and push cold water (if available) into the hot tap.
Check your Outside Stop Valve
External stop valves are typically found near your property boundary, although occasionally a neighbouring home will share a water supply.
They are located in pits and look like small drains, usually labelled with ‘W’ or ‘water’. To check the valve is fully open, open the cover and turn the valve fully anti-clockwise, then test your mains taps again.
If you have a water meter, the stop valve is usually in the same meter chamber.
Still Have Issues? Contact a Plumber
Plumbing issues can be pretty scary. This guide has some of the most common ways to identify the issues and remedies by yourself.
However, if you can’t get the issue to fix yourself, it’s best to contact an expert.
We work with plumbing professionals across the country who can help fix your no water problems. If you have any problems with your pipework, our partners have the tools and experience to give you peace of mind. Simply fill in the form below.