Advice and Useful information

We’ve listed some useful tips for dealing with problem pipes and drains in the home. 

Getting Rid of Airlocks

After disruption to your water supply you may get airlocks in your internal plumbing system. The airlock is generally in the hot water system and most likely the result of faulty internal plumbing.

What To Do If You Get An Airlock:

Firstly make sure all hot taps in the house are in the closed position. Then either proceed with option 1 or 2.  Step 3 applies to both.  

  1. If the hot and cold taps in the kitchen are separate i.e. not combined in a mixer tap, the hot tap should be turned on. If there is an airlock, no water will come from the hot tap. A short length of hose should be used to connect the hot and cold taps in the kitchen only. Turning on the cold tap will result in the cold water being forced through the hot water system and this will force the air which is causing the airlock back into the water tank in the attic. OR
  2. If there is a mixer tap in the kitchen, the hot tap should be turned on. With a cloth in your hand (to help reduce water squirting out) block the mixer tap and turn on the cold water tap gently.  This should force the cold water back through the hot water system, forcing the air into the water tank in the attic. Care should be exercised when doing this in case of accidental scalding with hot water.
  3. Let this run for 1 – 2 minutes, then turn off the cold tap and let the hot tap run for 1 – 2 minutes to confirm that the air lock is cleared.  If the air lock is not cleared, repeat the procedure one or two times more.  If this is not successful, contact a plumber and get them to correct the problem.

Occasionally the cold water taps in wash hand basins or the bath may also be air locked.  Procedure 1 will also work for them, but is more difficult as a long length of hose is necessary from the kitchen cold tap to the nearest wash hand basin or bath tap. 

General Information on Water & Drainage                  

If You See a Burst Watermain/Leaking Stop-cock

Please report it to Irish Water immediately by ringing telephone 1890 278278 (9:00am to 5:00pm Mon-Thurs, 9:00am to 4:30pm Friday). After 5pm and and weekends please call our Out of Hours Emergency Service (01)8905000

Please also call if the cover on your stop-cock or manhole is missing or damaged. 

If you have low pressure in your taps or no water at all? 

This may be as a result of a burst in your area, if you experience a loss to your supply please check the Home Page on our website under Map Alerter or Tweets for updates.   If necessary then call Irish Water directly on 1890 278278 (9:00am to 5:00pm) or our out of hours number on telephone (01) 8905000. The issue will be logged by Irish Water for the attention of Fingal Staff to investigate the matter and the outcome will be posted through our normal communication outlets.

Water Services also provides an on-call out of hour’s communication service (including weekends) that updates the Public Representatives, Emergency E-Mail lists, Twitter, Map Alerter etc. on current outages so information is readily available to the public.

If you are concerned about the quality of your water 

The water produced in Fingal is sampled on a daily basis to ensure compliance with Drinking Water Regulations 2007. However if you have concerns about any aspect of the quality of the water supply please contact Irish Water on 1890278278.

Notification of planned works

From time to time critical work necessitates that we temporarily shut down the water supply. In times of planned shut-downs like this we give notice where possible by way of  E-mail lists, Twitter & Media Press Releases. Where appropriate we will place advertisements in the local papers & radio stations to keep members of the public informed.

If you have a blocked drain on your property

We do not provide a drain clearing service. If you are concerned that there may be a blockage in the public sewer please telephone Irish Water on 1890278278.  If the blockage is on your private/combined drain, it is a matter for you and your neighbour(s) to resolve. 

If the drains on the side of your road are blocked

Please call our Operations Department (01) 8905595 and they will investigate.

Avoid Burst Pipes (Tips For Cold Weather) 

Starting at the top of the house in the roof, insulation should be over any pipes in the attic. This will allow heat from the house to circulate up and stop ice forming in very cold weather. 

  • Insulate Water tanks, cisterns and any pipes in cold areas of the house. 
  • Remember not to put any insulation underneath your attic tank. 
  • If you’re leaving your house over a long period leave the heating on a low setting. You could also turn off your water supply at the stop-tap and drain the system down before you go. 
  • Water in dripping taps can freeze and block the pipe completely, so get it fixed!


The Problem

The drainage system in most modern housing estates, has two separate systems - a foul drainage system and a surface water system.

The foul drainage system is designed to collect wastewater not only from toilets but also from wash-hand basins, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers. This wastewater is directed to our wastewater treatment plant where it is fully treated.

The surface water system is designed to channel stormwater (rainwater) to the nearest suitable river. Rivers and streams are natural surface water channels. 

Misconnections where wastewater from homes is released into the surface water system and not to the foul sewer, causes pollution of surface water and may cause foul smells. In many cases, householders are not aware of the problem or that they may be contributing to it. This can result in pollution to local rivers.

The Solution 

Misconnections for the most part are outlet pipes from washing machines and dishwashers. In most cases, the outlets from toilets in houses are correctly drained.

The problem can be solved in many cases by simply diverting the PVC outlet pipe from the point where it exits the wall of the premises, from the surface water drain to the foul drain shore.

It is our policy not to clear drains on private property. This is the responsibility of the owner of the property. This does not apply tenants in Fingal properties.

Related Documents

Information on Private Drain Blockage Leaflet
Fingal Water information and Conservation

Contact Irish Water

Telephone 1890278278 during office hours


After hours/emergency telephone: (01) 8905000

Email: [email protected]