Top Plumbing Tips

Take a look at the information below for some of our top plumbing tips.

If you know where all the stop cocks are in your home, you can isolate the water supply quickly if there is a leak; before it causes too much damage.
A perished washer or ball valve is only going to fail eventually. If you don’t replace it when the drip starts, you may end up with a torrent of water. Dealing with them now will save you time and money in the long run.
Water left in the hoses can freeze and expand, causing taps and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
One of the most common causes of blocked drains in the bathroom is grime caused by hair and soap. Use strainers to stop hair and soap from entering the drains on showers, baths and sinks. Clean strainers regularly to avoid clogs.
Regular servicing of your boiler and heating system each year is vital. This will ensure that it’s working at its best and safety checks will be carried out to make sure there are no poisonous gasses escaping. If you can see the flame in the boiler it should be a clear, strong, blue flame – a yellow flame would indicate a problem and should be checked.
Make sure any pipework which may be exposed to freezing conditions is properly lagged. Check pipes in the attic and basement if you have one. There are other less obvious places – for example, a pipe running past an air brick or wall vent. If you have an outside tap, isolate it during cold weather. Tun off the isolation valve on the supply then drain water from the pipe by opening the tap until water stops flowing.
If you live in a hard water area you will be affected by limescale build up. Use a suitable limescale remover regularly to prevent the problem becoming too bad. Vinegar is a great alternative to expensive cleaners for taps and shower heads. Additives for heating systems can be used to protect dishwashers, boilers and heating systems.
In order to keep waste water pipes flowing freely they should be checked and cleaned at regular intervals. Bath and shower waste outlets are prone to clogging, particularly from hair. Don’t leave it until they become blocked. If you need to clean an outlet, use a plunger rather than chemicals.
Metal drains under sinks look more reliable than plastic, but plastic is far better. It’s cheaper, easier to install and easier to adjust or tighten if a leak develops. And, unlike metal, plastic won’t corrode.
Over tightening supply lines is actually riskier than under tightening. A loose connection that leaks is easy to tighten, but over tightening can damage rubber seals and crack the threaded nuts. So, here’s a tip: make the connections at both ends of the line finger tight, then give them another one-eighth to one-quarter turn with pliers.
Caulking is one of the first lines of
defence against leaks. When
caulking cracks, it must be
reapplied in order to create a tight
seal. Take off the old caulking and
then reapply new caulking in a
clean and straight line.
Often, the only way to know that
there is a major issue is to take
notice of normal water usage.
That way when an unexpected
surge in water usage occurs, you
know that it is probably due to a
leak or running water somewhere.
Leaky taps waste a lot of water, money, and can slowly loosen over time. By checking for leaks, especially in rarely used taps, you will be able to correct for minor problems before there is a major leak.
Normal baby wipes should not be flushed down the toilet. These are not able to break down and can end up clogging the toilet drain. Use regular toilet paper or flushable toilet wipes instead.
Sometimes a toilet’s flush mechanism will fail and cause the water in the tank to constantly run or cause the toilet to flush occasionally on its own. To stop this waste of water, turn off the water supply using the valve located behind the toilet near the floor.
Many plumbing problems can be prevented by minimising materials that go down the drain such as food or hair. Investing in affordable drain stoppers or sink strainers can save a lot of money, time, and hassle down the road.
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