My tap has no water – is it an airlock? The easiest answer is probably yes, but you also need to rule out some other potential culprits before you can know for sure. Check out our top five questions you need to ask yourself if your tap may not have water and what to do if it does turn out to be an airlock.
Is it just this tap?
When there is no water coming from your tap, the first thing you need to check is whether it’s just this tap or all your taps. Isolating the issue to just one tap could be a clear indication there is a fault with the tap rather than with the water supply itself. If you feel confident enough, you can try and fix the issue yourself, but our recommendation would be to find an excellent local plumber to sort out your tap problem.
Is the main switched on?
If more than one tap, or all of them, is affected try checking the main supply to your home is switched on properly. Locate your stopcock (cold water supply) and your stop tap (hot water supply) and ensure they are both fully open and turned on. If the mains supply is on and working, but some or all of your taps are still affected, that could mean a problem with your supply or indicate one or more issues.
Have you checked with your water supply provider?
If all of your taps are dry, it is worth checking with your water supplier that there are no issues with the supply before you start tinkering with your taps or calling out professionals. Most water companies have a section on their website where you can check for supply issues or you can call them.
Have you sprung a leak?
Leaks in your water pipes can be one of the most common causes for loss of water pressure and total loss of water supply to your taps. If you can, check the supply lines into your home for damage or leaking water. Now is the time to contact your local plumber to fix this issue.
Is it an airlock?
So, if you’ve checked and ruled out all of the above as the cause of your water woes, and the issue is isolated in the hot water tap only, the most likely culprit is an airlock.
When air gets trapped in your water pipes, as it is so much less dense than water, it can collect, become trapped and result in a partial blockage – reduced water pressure, and spluttering supply – or a complete blockage – no water supply at all. This is an airlock.
What Can I Do to Fix an Airlock?
There are a few at home remedies to flushing out an airlock, which we have detailed below, but as always, with any plumbing issues, if you are unsure or lacking in confidence or skill in the DIY department, please get a local plumber in to take a look at the job for you.
A common fix for this problem, is to force the air bubble back up through the pipe and disperse the blockage. There are different procedures depending on whether you have separate hot and cold water taps or whether you have a mixer tap.
For separate taps:
You will need a short hosepipe which you can connect securely to the affected taps at both ends.
First, fully open the broken hot tap, then fully open the cold tap. The high water pressure from the cold tap will push through the hosepipe, into the hot tap and up through the pipe forcing out the airlock and fixing your issue.
Leave the taps on to make sure the flow has returned to normal. If this does not fix your problem first time, you can complete the whole process a few times. If after all that, the tap is still not working – now would be a great time to call that plumber we talked about!
For mixer taps:
This one is a little fiddlier, but just as effective. Grab a cloth (to help reduce the likelihood of you getting soaked!) and open the hot tap. Block the whole opening to the tap using the cloth in your hand to absorb any water that squirts out and turn on the cold tap. By blocking the tap you are forcing the cold water back up through the hot tap, again forcing out the airlock and fixing your issue.
Run the taps for a while or repeat the process until you are happy. Again, if you cannot fix this issue yourself, call out your plumber.
Issues with plumbing can be pretty scary, but with some know-how and our handy guide you are in the best position to know what to do when you do hit an issue. As always, if you are unsure in any way, call out the professionals. It might just save you time, money and peace of mind when it comes to your plumbing. Here at Rowlen, our plumbers are able to resolve any issues with your pipework, and if your tap has no water, we have the tools and the experience to get things flowing again in no time at all.