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"Your one stop place for getting all those undone jobs completed 
around the house and garden."


EMAIL:                 About Me                   PHONE:   0773 2269023    

Help & Advice



You Have An Emergency?

As I am a one-man band, I do not have the resources to deal with a REAL 24 hour emergency : broken water pipe, for example. In these cases, it is best to contact a small local company that has a 24 hour service so they can respond immediately.

If it is urgent rather than an emergency, give me a phone call, and I'll see if I can help.

Here is some advice which may help in certain circumstances:

Water pouring through upstairs ceiling
This is more likely to be a water tank burst, leaking, or a water pipe burst, than a sudden loss of roof tiles or roof. If it is a water tank, as it empties, it is also filling up again. You need to get up into the loft, locate the water tank, and tie up the ball valve to shut off water flowing into the tank.

If the leaking water is a lot, there is a chance it will flow into a ceiling rose, so you are advised to locate the fuse or MCB in your consumer unit / house main fuse box and switch off any circuit feeding power to the upstairs lighting.

Ring up a plumbing service who deal with 24 hour emergency leaks. (It is likely to cost you dear, but possibly the house insurance may pay for repair costs and water damage?)

Water pouring through downstairs ceiling
If the area has a flat felted roof, it could be damaged and letting rain water in. More likely, you have a leaking pipe in an upstairs bathroom. You need to locate a stop cock (tap) to cut off the flow of water to your bathroom sink taps, or bath taps and or to the toilet cistern. There may be several taps. Look under the bath, the sink, the toilet. Some taps (stop cocks) do not look like taps. They need a scewdriver to turn a silver / metal round piece in the middle. Any way it moves is the 'off' way. Once you have stopped the water (or if unsuccessful), call a local plumber or me.

Water pouring from the toilet cistern overflow pipe.
The valve controlling the flow of water into the toilet cistern is failing. Maybe something is preventing it from returning to its upmost position where it cuts off the water, or it is not shutting the valve fully. Take the top off the cistern and look. Try forcing it (gently) to close. Sometimes, if does not do it, it maybe you can adjust it with a small pair of pliers or spanner to act more severely to shut off the valve, but generally, you need the cistern valve mechanism replaced. Locate a stop cock / tap to the cistern and turn it off. You need to call a plumber or me.

Window glass broken, rain coming in
Try taping a plastic bag over the hole. If it is windy, tape the bag, then some cardboard firmly to the remaining glass, to support the plastic bag. Be careful of sharp glass pieces.

All the electricity has gone off
It may be a power cut affecting not just your house, but neighbouring houses too. Are streets lights on (at night) and is light coming from adjacent homes? If it is a power cut, you can call a national number to report it. (See numbers above).

If not a power cut, one or more of your electrical circuits or appliances may have become faulty. Normally, this triggers a circuit MCB or fuse to operate, cutting off power to that circuit. These are located in your house main fuse box / consumer unit, normally close to the electric meter.

The main switch to your fuse box may be a special type which detects earthing problems on your circuits. Sometimes, this triggers as well, or simply on its own, causing all power to cease. Check the individual fuses / MCBs, if one has switched off, try to switch it on again. DON'T HOLD IT ON, JUST CLICK IT BACK TO ITS ON POSITION AND LET GO. Does it stay on? Check the main switch on the fuse box. Is it off? Turn it on again, and don't hold it on: a quick flick to its on position and let go.

The circuit fuse may trigger again when you do this. If so, leave it triggered off and reset the main switch (as before). If the main switch stays on, you have an unresolved short circuit on your electrical circuit associated with the off fuse. You can try disconnecting all appliances on that circuit, pulling out their plugs from their wall sockets or turning off lights around the house if the off fuse is on a lighting circuit.

If after doing that and resetting the fuse cause it to trigger off again, you need to contact an electrician to come and locate and remedy the fault.

Locked out of house?
Have any of your friends or family got a key? Phone them. It is best not to try and break the door down or smash a window, the damage and repair can be costly and you can injure yourself. Phone a locksmith. They often have skeleton keys and if not, they can drill out your lock and replace it. Likely to be costly alas.

Gas Leak
This can be very serious. Do you know how to turn off the main gas tap to your house? If so, do it. Ensure there are no naked flames in the area where gas is leaking. Call your local gas company emergency number. (See numbers above).

It's best not to open windows or doors as oxygen mixing with gas can create an explosive gas instead of an inflammable one. Vacate the area.


Important Local Tel. Numbers

Fire/police/ambulance Emergency
From mobiles:
Non-Emergency Police:
Non-Emergency Medical:
Peterborough Council:
01733 747474

Gas Leak: 0800 111 999
Web site

Electic power cut: 105
Web Site

Local businesses Web Site



Sean Botha Handyman Service. Peterborough. UK        Email:                             Tel: 0773 2269023

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