Top 10 plumbing tips and advices

The Top Ten DIY plumbing emergencies tips.

Tips 1: Find out where are your valves

Know where you mains water valve or stop cock is to be able to switch off your house water in an emergency. Usually stop valves are commonly found under or near the kitchen sink, or near the front door.

Step 2: Check out for drips

Don’t leave a dripping tap or ball valve. If you need to use a wrench on items like taps, cover with an old rag first to prevent scratches.

Step 3: Look after your boiler

Regular servicing of your boiler and heating system each year to ensure it is working properly and safely. If you have a pressurized system, check the pressure regularly to ensure it is within the specified range (usually around 1 to 1.5 bar).

Step 4: Avoid freezing pipes

Check pipes in the attic and basement if you have one. If you have an outside tap, isolate it during the cold weather : turn off the isolation valve, drain water from the pipe by opening the tap until water stops flowing.

Step 5: Machine hoses

Check annually the flexible hoses connecting appliances like washing machines or dishwashing machines. These hoses can suffer from a fair bit of pressure as the water is drawn and closed off. Also check that there are no drips at the end of the hoses.

Step 6: Waste Outlets

Check and clean waste water pipes regularly, especially bath and shower waste outlets that can be clogged easily from hair. If you need to clear an outlet, check this article  “How to clear a blocked shower waste” from Chatibot.

Step 7: Hard water

Find out if lime scale deposits build up around taps and shower heads, in pipes, washing machines and dishwashers, boilers and heating systems. Use natural products like lemon juice, vinegar, sometimes mixed with baking soda, to remove limescale regularly. Also check out this article  “How to remove limescale” from Chatibot.

Step 8: Be prepare for emergency leaking pipe

A useful product called LLFA Tape, can help you seal a split pipe, so it might be worth keeping some in your toolbox.

Step 9: Be prepare for emergency flush

If your toilet cistern fails, a bucket of water poured into the pan does a reasonable job of flushing until it can be fixed.

Step 10: Put the plug in

If you’re replacing tap washers, careful to put any plug (like the grub screw holding the tap head in place) in before you start work.


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