We’re approaching the first Bank Holiday of 2016, a time traditionally marked by DIY projects.
The numbers of emergency call-outs we receive for leaks tends to rise during and just after a Bank Holiday.
Here are some tips to save your home and ensure we get a break over Easter.
There are some DIY projects that are the most fun and rewarding if you simply dive in and learn as you go. And then there’s plumbing. Learning to fix your leaks or replace your toilet can save you money, but DIY plumbing can turn to disaster quickly if you’re not careful.
Most problems can be avoided, as long as you have realistic targets, sufficient skills and follow instructions. But, if you have old or poorly installed plumbing, please get the advice of your local Stopcocks Woman Plumber, and if in any doubt, get her to complete tricky jobs for you.
There are steps you can take to either head off problems before they begin or minimize the chaos once it starts to unfold (as well as having or number handy).
You may have several different taps to turn off the water coming into your house
Know where your stop-tap is and practice turning it off before you begin plumbing DIY
This is important even if you are not embarking on D.I.Y. in the event of leaks that occur because of old pipework.
External Stop-Tap cover
Knowing this one thing can save you literally hundreds of £££s
Before you start a plumbing project, even if it’s tightening your toilet seat, it’s wise to locate all of your stoptaps and know what they control. If you have a nice system that was installed with some thought – or by a Stopcocks Woman Plumber, you might even have isolating valves on individual items such as your basins and toilets.
Most main stoptaps are found in the cellar or under the kitchen sink, though some might be hidden behind access panels. If you’re unsure what a specific valve controls, just close it off and start turning on your taps and flushing your toilets.
Most importantly, always know where the main house stoptap is. It’s usually right where the water enters your house. Keep its location in the back of your mind. You could be sprinting there during your project.
Don’t mess with lead pipework, it requires specialist equipment and skill. It may have curves or bulges.
It’s also helpful to know where your external stop-tap is. If you need to use this to turn off your water, you may be turning off the water to your neighbour’s houses as well as your own. Let them know before you do this.
Lift the cover to get to the tap.
Finally; if the pipe to any tap is gently curved or bulges, do not touch it! It could be lead which needs specialist equipment and skill.
Understanding your own home helps you accomplish DIY successfully
Before starting a plumbing project, even a minor one, it’s a good idea to get a sense of your plumbing system as a whole. Do some research and get a grasp of the basic design of the plumbing in your home. Try to map out your plumbing. If you have an easily accessible cellar you’ll have an easier time of this. See if you can work out which walls have pipes (or electric wiring) in them and where the main waste pipe leaves the house. The more information you have, the less intimidating things are going to be—and the easier it will be to troubleshoot any problems. This is not strictly necessary but gives you great quality information for planning and can prevent you from putting a nail through that pipe behind the lovely smooth plaster in your living room wall.
Have the right DIY tools for the job.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to nip off to the nearest D.I.Y. store half way through to buy a tool to finish the job, Even worse if you discover what you need after 4pm, when the shops have closed!
Do as much research as you can before you start.
There are many excellent channels on YouTube, including ours, we have many useful videos, including unsticking a tap, changing a washer, installing a radiator. Take a look
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