Tips & Advice

General plumbing advice (a stitch in time...).

  • Know where your stop tap is. Under the sink is a good place to start, or where the main water enters the building. There is always one on the boundary to your property, often in the pavement, or near the driveway. If you cannot find it, phone the water company and they will locate it for you.
  • Make sure that it works. Unused stop taps become stiff and difficult to turn. Just turn it on & off every couple of months to keep it free. At the same time turn it off and check that the water stops - the washer may need changing. If it's in a difficult to reach place, it could be relocated.
  • Check pipe and tank lagging in attics and unheated spaces. Pipes laid above the ceiling insulation need snug fitting lagging with a wall thickness of at least 25mm, and tank jackets should be 75mm thick. Check and upgrade before it's too late.
  • Keep the plumbing well maintained get any leaks fixed, don't ignore white spots or blue/green marks on pipe work, joints and cylinders.

Burst pipes and leaks.

  • Turn off the stop tap.
  • Turn off the boiler and/or immersion heater.
  • Turn on all hot and cold water taps and leave them running until the water stops.
  • Turn off the electricity at the main switch if any water is dripping from lights, switches, sockets etc.
  • If water is dripping through the ceiling, poke a screwdriver through any bulge to drain trapped water.

Blocked w.c. (toilet slow to drain).

  • First dont keep flushing the toilet, If there is already alot of water in the toilet pan, repeated flushing may cause it to spill over.
  • Do you suspect that something has been dropped down the toilet? Mobile phones, toys, clip on fresheners are all favourites. If something is down there, it is likely that it will be caught in the bend at the back of the pan and it will have to be physically removed. Make sure you use protective gloves etc. In an emergency a thick bin liner or similar could suffice.
  • If you know that there is no foreign object causing the blockage, then using a plunger is probably your next step. An old style string mop makes an excellent plunger. Push the head of the mop quickly and repeatably into the outlet area of w.c. pan in a plunging action. This often enough to clear small blockages of paper etc.