There are times when problems will occur with your plumbing and you will need to call out an engineer to check what the issue is and resolve it. This can often be costly and inconvenient, resulting in your having to take time off work and stay in the house. However, a number of plumbing issues can actually be avoided by taking some preventative measures.
By having a well-maintained plumbing system and being aware of the damage that you can cause, it is less likely that you will have an emergency and your pipes will continue to flow smoothly. Here we’ve put together some top tips on how you can look after the pipes and drains in your property and avoid the need to call an emergency plumber.
1. Carry out checks
It’s important to check around the toilet and underneath sinks on a regular basis to make sure there are no leaks or signs of moisture. If you get this sorted straight away, it can prevent any damage being caused and save you from wasting water.
To see if the toilet is leaking, simply put a bit of food colouring in the tank and check after a few hours. You will be able to see if any is leaking from the tank if the water has turned a different colour, and replacing the tank ball can rectify this.
2. Be winter ready
Before the cold weather sets in, it’s a good idea to ensure that your plumbing system is protected. All the tanks and pipe work need to be properly insulated to prevent them from freezing and cracking.
During the winter months, if it gets particularly cold, you can keep the loft hatch open for a bit to enable the warmer air to heat up the space and stop your cistern from getting too cold.
Your boiler and heating system, including your booster pump, should be serviced every year so that you know everything is working as efficiently as it should be.
3. Know how to isolate a booster pump and other appliances
If an emergency occurs, it’s important that you know how to switch off the main water supply and all your appliances, including a booster pump. When you move into a property, familiarise yourself with the location of the outdoor and indoor isolation valves, and then check them every three months to make sure they work properly.
Have a look at all your appliances and see if they have a way of isolating them and that you know how to do this. You also need to know where the emergency controls are for your fuel and electricity supply so that you can get to them quickly if necessary.
4. Prevent the drains from clogging
One of the most frequent plumbing issues can be a clogged drain, but this is fairly simple to avoid if you take more care of what you’re putting down the plug hole in the first place. You should avoid pouring cooking fats down the sink, as they harden once they’ve cooled and can soon block up the pipes. Put a strainer over your plug hole to catch any small items, such as hair and soap in the bathroom, so you can dispose of them in the rubbish and minimise costly repairs.
If your drains do become blocked, try to use a pipe snake or another manual instrument first before resorting to chemicals, and when using any cleaning agents follow the instructions closely.
We have a wide range of plumbing accessories available to help you keep your pipes properly maintained, including valves, hoses, pressure switches and a range of water pumps.