Caution about Do It Yourself Plumbing
Putting up a couple of shelves is one thing, but trying to do-it-yourself on your plumbing system can not only be dangerous and expensive, but could also drop you in hot water with the law! If you do not know 100% what you are doing, do-it-yourself interference with plumbing systems can result in serious damage, expensive repair bills and potential health hazards.
Maintenance and Prevention:
- Prevention is much better than cure, both for you and your pocket when it comes to central heating and winter plumbing problems. Start off by giving your boiler an annual MOT. Not only will it make it more efficient (saving you money on heating bills) but a well-maintained boiler is less likely to break down.
- To remove unsightly mineral deposits on your shower head, put one cup of vinegar in a plastic bag and place it over the shower head. Hold it in place with a twist tie and let stand overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and wipe off the mineral deposits with a damp cloth.
- To prevent clogs, do not use your toilet as a wastebasket. Do not flush facial tissue, sanitary products or diapers as they do not dissolve and can clog the lines. Keep a rubbish container in each bathroom.
Protect Your Home Against Water Damage
Preventing Frozen Pipes:
Insulate external pipes and any internal ones that are exposed to freezing, paying attention to corners and elbows pipe work as these tend to be the most exposed.
Turn off any indoor valves on pipes leading to taps outside your home. Then open the outside tap and leave it open to let any water drain. This will ensure there's no water in the pipes to freeze.
In cold weather, check all your taps in your home from time to time. If little or no water flows there may be frozen water in the pipes.
If you're away from home during the winter, ask someone to check your home - this should help ensure burst pipes are spotted early and any damage is kept to a minimum.
Loft Insulation In Your Home:
A burst pipe in the loft could lead to serious water damage and the risk of a collapsed ceiling, so making sure your loft is well insulated in preparation for freezing temperatures is really worth the effort.
Apply foam insulation to pipes in your loft and make sure joints and bends are covered. Lay the foam on top of the pipes and not beneath them.
Slow Draining Sinks:
If your sink drains are chronically slow and you live in an older house, the problem may be an accumulation of sludge in the lines.
No amount of plunging and chemicals is going to fix this. What's needed is to climb up onto the roof of your house with a metal snake (preferably one with a business end looking a bit like a ball peen hammer) and ram that snake down each of the drain lines, entering through the vent stacks, with a fair amount of force. You should also snake out any drain clean-outs you can find at ground level.
Note: Climbing onto your roof can be very dangerous, better to get someone else to do it, preferably someone with good experience.