Emergency Plumbing

A A MacMillan Plumbers

East Kilbride

01355 570606

Out of Hours – Emergency Call Out Charges

This charge covers both the call out fee and the first hour of labour.

  • Monday to Friday from 6pm on-wards – £60

For bookings & further information

Call – 01355 570606

A A MacMillan Plumbers

8 Swift Place

East Kilbride

G75 8RT

 
East Kilbride Plumber A A MacMillan - Fitting new pipework underneath a kitchen sink
New sink waste, trap and waste piping system fitted to a property in the Murray, East Kilbride.

A A MacMillan Plumbers are long established in the field of emergency plumbing. The reasons for your emergency plumbing problem can be various but usually fall into the following categories.

A component part of your plumbing system catastrophically fails. This can be from the tiniest part to a major component, either way the result is the same, namely a major flood and inconvenience. The reason for component failure can be varied, ranging from old age and decrepitude, inferior quality, or a poor standard of initial installation.

Accidental damage. Examples of this are pipes nailed through during home improvements and objects dropped down toilets that cause breakages or blockages. Paint or fat poured down sinks can also cause blockages and could also be termed as accidental damage. These all have the potential to lead to a plumbing emergency.

The degree of the severity of a plumbing emergency can be very different too. Some issues can stem from plumbing problems that have to be attended to sooner rather than later. A dripping loft overflow pipe, may well be an irritation in the summertime, however, in the winter it can have the potential to cause all manner of mayhem, with the constant drip freezing onto the slabs or patio below and quickly turning it into an ice rink. If that’s not bad enough it can get even worse, a dripping overflow in winter can create some pretty huge dagger like icicles, that precariously hang from your soft fits, ready to fall at a moments notice. As bad as this is things can actually get much worse, if the overflow pipe plugs up entirely with ice, the water cannot escape from the tank and it ends up overflowing from the tank itself and floods the rooms directly below.

Winter and ice always seem to turn plumbing problems into plumbing emergencies. A badly installed and planned outside tap is a favorite for bursting during wintertime. People love all manners of features in their gardens, but an impromptu ice rink is rarely welcomed or planned.

Drainage pipes also seem to be more susceptible to blockages during a cold icy frosty spell. A further problem with this can be a dripping sink, bath or basin tap, or a toilet cistern that constantly runs into the pan. These issues combined with a totally blocked drainage pipe can turn into a real headache, as you have to constantly bail them out to prevent a flood. In this respect, your plumbing system is not that different to a motor car, if you notice a problem, that something is not quite right, it’s better to get it attended to sooner rather than later. It will save you time and money in the long run.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a plumbing emergency, please be rest assured that when you call A A MacMillan Plumbers you will be in safe hands. We have many years of successfully responding to plumbing emergencies. Indeed, we first met many of our long standing customers whilst working on their initial emergency call out.

Sometimes emergency plumbing jobs are straightforward and sometimes they’re not, again for various different reasons. When working out of hours the availability of parts can be an issue. Occasionally there can be problems of utility, such as loft hatches in tenement blocks locked with no key holder present, or stop cocks boxed in with kitchen units. Unfortunately, there has also been instances where the standard of the plumbing installation has been done to such a terribly poor standard, that the repair turns into quite extensive work.

What we do guarantee at A A MacMillan Plumbers is that we try our best for all of our customers on each and every job. We always explain to our customers what we are doing and why we are doing it. We are as transparent as possible whilst the work is being undertaken, so that our customers know that the work has been done and it has been done to a high standard. All of our repair work carries a 1 year written parts and labour guarantee, unless otherwise previously stated and explained to our customer. For example; we cannot guarantee the removal of a blockage in a sink for a year. However, if it were to block again in a week or two, we would unblock it again free of charge as the work would not have been done properly in the first instance. We always strive and endeavor to be fair and even handed with all our customers.

 

Emergency Tips

Hopefully some of these tips will prevent you from having a plumbing emergency, or if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having a severe plumbing problem, they will help to alleviate some of the distress.

To repeat an earlier point, a stitch in time really does save nine. That loose tap that waggles about every time you use it, better to get it fixed before it comes totally adrift, flooding your home and generally causing a major, but preventable, flooding incident.

Turning the water off. Can you turn the water off in your home? Do you know where all the stop valves are? If so can you operate them? Do you know what they turn off? Do you know where the water turns off outside your property and if so is the valve accessible and operable?

If the answer to the above questions is a resounding yes, you have my congratulations because you have taken all the necessary steps to arm yourself with the knowledge and know how to tackle any unexpected plumbing emergency head on.

In East Kilbride, if you live in a terraced house in the traditional Development Corporation areas such as Murray, Westwood, Greenhills, East Mains, West Mains, Calderwood, St Leonards and Whitehills you will have a mains stop cock within the property that should turn the water off, failing this, there is a main stop valve outside of the properties perimeter, that is often affectionately referred to as the “Toby”, Why this name? I honestly don’t know.

The problem with the “Toby” in Development Corporation housing areas is that it’s shared with another 3 to 4 properties, meaning that if you turn it off, you also turn off the water from the neighbouring houses in your street. Furthermore, it can be a bit of a hit or miss trying to work out which stop valve is for any particular row of houses. Sometimes these valves have been mono blocked over, are covered in turf or even hidden by a hedge. To compound matters further, it’s quite common when you open its cover, to find that the valve itself hasn’t been operated in years and has subsequently been lost in a sea of water, sludge and stones. The good news in times like this is that the “Toby” is the responsibility of Scottish Water and they are obliged to locate “their” valve and ensure its functionality as part of your Council Tax payment.

Thankfully, most people will never have a reason to bother about the “Toby” and will go through their lives blissfully unaware of it. The main stop valve in the property is an entirely different matter. Some lucky folk, living in flats can have several different stop valves! One for the cold water under the sink, one at the hot water tank (if they still have one) and a separate one for the bathroom cold water. Whatever the circumstance, it’s important to know how to turn off the water in any given set of circumstances.

For people living in houses, as long as the main stock cock for the cold water main can be located and is fully operational then everything else can be isolated from there. If you don’t know where your main stopcock is, or you do know its location but find it inoperable, you really would be advised to employ the services of a reputable plumber to resolve this issue. Some of these stop valves in areas such as Newton Mearns, Thortonhall, Eaglesham and Clarkston could well be 100 years old.

Elderly stop cocks aren’t always bad news, things in general were far better made in days gone by and plumbing fittings are no exception. The main things to consider with a stop valve are, is it accessible? Can I turn the handle? Will it fully turn off the water? If the answer to these three questions is a definite yes, you have nothing to worry about. If not, it’s probably best to consider calling out a reputable plumber to have a look at it.

OK, so you can now locate your stop cock and turn off your water. In the event of a plumbing emergency such as a major leak, first turn off your stopcock and open your cold kitchen tap.

If you have a sealed heating system that is leaking, one that you have to periodically top up, you don’t have to turn off your main stop cock as it won’t make any difference. Switch off your heating. The leak will eventually run dry of its own accord. If you have a more traditional heating system with a small tank in the loft, and it develops a bad leak, turn off your heating and the mains stop valve, open the cold tap at the kitchen sink and the leak will eventually stop.

With any other leak or overflow that’s causing major concern, turn off the mains stop cock and open all the taps and the leak will eventually subside. This should help contain the problem until your emergency plumber arrives.

If the leak is really bad and is coming through a ceiling light, or spraying onto plug sockets underneath a kitchen sink. It would be best to isolate and turn off the electricity to prevent the very serious risk of fire or electrocution.

A good tip on preventing any problems when you go on holiday, or leaving your property unattended for a period of time during fair weather, is to turn off your water mains stop cock and open your kitchen sink cold tap. As long as your stopcock fully turns off the water and the drain pipes of your kitchen sink aren’t leaking, you can vacate your property safe in the knowledge that any plumbing system failure and subsequent damage will be limited to the water that was already in the system and the leaking part of your plumbing system will not be continually replenished for the entire duration of your absence.

If you leave your property unattended for a short spell during the depths of winter it is wise to turn off the water at the mains stop cock and leave the heating on for long enough to prevent burst pipes through frost damage. Over the years I have seen some terrible damage to unattended houses from burst pipes due to freezing weather. I would certainly recommend that you turn off the water and turn on the heating.

That’s about all I can say about dealing with emergency plumbing situations, some are a storm in a teacup, whilst others are pretty dreadful. Some problems are preventable and others will catch you out unawares, plumbing emergencies are like so many other things in life and while hindsight is not going to get you out of your current predicament it may well help you to avoid one in the future.

Finally. Some advice if you’re planning to claim your plumbing emergency repair work on your home insurance policy. Although insurance policies differ, it’s in my experience they mainly go along the following lines. If you do not have emergency plumbing insurance on your home policy, the policy holder (You) will have to pay for the plumbing repair direct to your chosen plumber and the insurance company will only pay for the damage to the property caused by the plumbing system failure and any further reasonable and unavoidable damage incurred in fixing the failure, less the agreed policy excess. If this is the case it is imperative that you get a written receipt from your plumber outlining what the problem was and that it has been fixed. If you don’t get proof that the repair has been undertaken by a plumbing professional you may well struggle to get the insurance company to sanction the secondary repairs.

On the other hand, if you hold emergency plumbing insurance cover, your insurance company should take care of everything from start to finish. If however, your insurance company is unable to fulfill their obligation to send an emergency plumber and you are left in the lurch having to arrange one yourself (this happens fairly often), make sure that you get a receipt of the work done and costs involved from your plumber, so that you can claim it back from your insurance company.

Yours sincerely

Andy MacMillan

For bookings & further information

Please call – 01355 570606

A A MacMillan Plumbers

8 Swift Place

East Kilbride

G75 8RT

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