New year, new lockdown. The United Kingdom entered a third national lockdown in January 2021 with rules similar to the initial restrictions imposed during Spring 2020 – so what happens if you need to call a plumber?
Burst pipes and leaking water tanks care not for Boris Johnson telling the nation that they must stay at home. If you are unlucky enough to suffer from an emergency plumbing problem during the latest lockdown, then worrying about whether a tradesperson can enter your home to attend to the issue is additional stress that you really do not need.
Can I call a plumber during lockdown?
Plumbers and other tradespeople are still allowed to enter domestic properties for the purposes of work. They are covered by the government guidance available on gov.uk/coronavirus, which states that anyone who cannot effectively carry out their job from home can travel to and from their place of work.
The guidance states that it applies to, “those working in, visiting or delivering to home environments… Including in home workers – such as repair services, fitters, meter readers, plumbers, cleaners, cooks, visiting childcare providers, and surveyors.”
Whilst there are no government restrictions preventing a plumber working in lockdown, it is up to an individual to judge whether they wish to continue as normal. Some may be clinically vulnerable or live with someone who is, in which case it would be an easy decision to stay at home rather than risk catching Covid-19.
Other plumbers will be willing to carry out emergency repairs but in different circumstances to normal. Face-to-face contact should be limited as much as possible and face coverings have to be worn at all times, as they are in everyday life currently. Perhaps most disconcertingly, there is no chance of a tradesman’s tea being made.
If the person requiring an emergency pipe repair has shown symptoms of Covid-19, has tested positive or is self-isolating, then under no circumstances should any work take place.
How to fix a leaking pipe without a plumber
Should circumstances mean that you are unable to call a plumber during lockdown and need to fix a leaking pipe, then the good news is that you can carry out a repair yourself.
DIY pipe repair has never been easier thanks to the increasing availability of pipe repair kits. Starting at under £20, a pipe repair kit contains all the products that are needed to carry out a permanent emergency repair even when water pressure cannot be turned off.
They require no training to use – simply follow the instructions. The repair begins by applying a sealing material which plugs the initial leak. This will usually be either epoxy putty which is pushed into the crack where it will harden and fill the leak area or a waterproof repair tape which adheres to the pipe and forms a pressure resistant band over the leak area.
The sealing material is then overwrapped with a composite pipe repair bandage. When activated with water, the bandage will harden as it is applied and smoothed down, providing a rock-hard, impact resistant layer to turn the repair permanent.
Repairs made using a pipe repair kit can be carried out in under 30 minutes. If you are shielding, isolating or cannot find a plumber during lockdown, then the technology provides a viable alternative for fixing a leaking pipe.