Tap Tinkering: What to do When the Water Stops Running

We’ve all been there, you’ve undressed and you’re standing naked with a shower cap ready for a long hot shower to wash off the day and….

Nothing but a low moan bellowing from the pipes. There’s no water.

You turn it on full bore hoping for at least a trickle of hope, but nothing, its off.

You can spend the rest of the day crying naked in the fetal position on the floor with your shower cap or you can step up and fix the problem. There are a number of things you can do to detect the problem yourself so take off that shower cap, put on your detective hat and here we go Sherlock!


Try your cold kitchen tap

The main water supply normally enters your home in the cold kitchen or laundry room tap.

If water comes out of this tap but not elsewhere (such as your shower or bathroom tap), the problem is with your internal plumbing and you need to locate the problem to narrow it down.

Check all of the other water taps in the house.

If it’s just that one tap or shower that isn’t working, you only need to focus on tinkering with that one tap. If it’s not a visible problem with any of the fittings you may need to call a plumber like Ultra Plumbing Gold Coast.

If all the taps are off, you can keep investigating.

Search incidents in your area

Call your water company or search online for incidents in your area that affect your water supply. If there is an incident in your area and your water is cut off you’ll just have to wait for the specified time I’m afraid. Handy hint, the local pool have toilets and showers if you can’t wait.

If there are no incidents in your area make the following checks:

  • Has there been any major yard work that may have hit a pipe?
  • Check visible pipes for damage. If you find a pipe which is damaged, or you can see water seeping up from the ground anywhere in your yard, you’ll need to call a plumber and alert your water company.

Check with your neighbours

If possible, ask if others in your street have the same problem.

If there is no issue with their supply, the problem is with your internal plumbing.

If you live in a block of units or flats, check with the building maintainer, your council, or the agent who manages the building for any known problems or incidents.

Stop valves

For water to flow through the house, your inside stop valve needs to be fully open.

It’s usually located under the kitchen sink, in a cupboard or under the floorboards by the front door. If the valve is closed, turn it anti-clockwise to make sure that it is fully open.

If you’re unsure on how to find and use your inside stop valve, there are many videos available or find more tips here.

Your outside stop valve also needs to be open.

Some properties share their water supply with their neighbours, if so ask your immediate neighbours if they have recently used the outside stop valve.

If you’re unable to use or locate the outside stop valve, there are youtube videos of where to find it.

It’s worth taking the time to research how to fix certain issues yourself, the basics of home maintenance and plumbing can be learned by everyone. Things like changing a washer and tightening a leaking pipe are within everyones capability and will most likely come up several times in life.

If you’re not very handy, or don’t have the inclination for detective work/mechanical jobs it’s ok though, a friendly plumber is only a phone call away. Just remember to remove the shower cap and get dressed first.