If you have an emergency please call us on 01522 695621! But in the meantime we have put together this advice page to help you with some common plumbing problems...
On this page:
PlumbLincs top tips to avoid plumbing disasters
I have a burst pipe in my house, what do I do?
First you need to turn off the main stop tap, which can usually be found under your kitchen sink or where you water supply enters your home.
Next you should drain the cold water system by turning on all your cold water taps, then switch off and drain your central heating/hot water system.
If water has been leaking into your ceiling you should also watch out for damaged plaster waiting to fall or if it starts to bulge you should make a small hole to let the water out. You should also switch off the electricity supply, or if the leak has shorted out your system do not switch it back on until you have had everything checked. If water leaks near anything electrical e.g. lights, sockets or appliances then do not touch them.
Once you have carried out these steps you should call us to arrange a repair. We can also arrange for an electrician to check your wiring if you need it.
I think I might have a leak....how do I find out?
If you have a water meter you can carry out a simple leak test which will tell you if you have a leak and also whether it is internal or external. See below our step-by-step guide on how to check for a leak. If you do not have a meter then call us and we will help you to locate and repair your leak.
Handy Tip: Many water companies will offer a one-off free repair of an external leak, however if your leak is internal they will not offer any assistance with repairs. If you have an internal leak or if you have previously had your one-off repair for an external leak, then call us and we will be happy to help you.
Leak test (if you have an EXTERNAL water meter)
1. Locate your external meter - it is usually fitted to the outside stop-tap located either in your garden, driveway or on the public pavement.
2. Open the meter chamber, take out any polystyrene on top of the meter and remove any surface water that may be in the chamber by using a sponge or cup.
3. Check that the meter serial number is the same number as the one shown on your water bill.
4. Turn off the water supply at the stop-tap on your meter.
5. Turn on your cold water tap, if the water stops this means you have correctly located your meter.(If it doesn't stop the supply of water you need to contact your water company)
6. Turn the stop tap on your meter back on, and then turn off your internal stop tap.
7. Go back to the meter outside. You will see black and red numbers on the meter dial. If any of these numbers are moving then it’s likely you have an external leak, either on the meter itself or on the supply pipe between your house and the meter.
8. If the numbers on your meter do not move, then return to the internal stop tap and turn it back on. Make sure that all appliances in the house are switched off and there is no water being used. Go back to the meter and see if the numbers move, if they do, this would indicate a problem with the internal supply and you should call us to help investigate and repair.
Leak test (if you have an INTERNAL water meter):
1. Make sure that all appliances in the house are switched off and there is no water being used.
2. Go to your meter. You will see black and red numbers on the meter dial. If any of these numbers are moving then it’s likely that you have a leak. As your meter is internal this means your leak is also internal and you can call us and we will be happy to help you.
My pipes are frozen, what should I do?
First you should turn off your water supply at the main stop tap which should be under your kitchen sink or where your water supply comes into your home. While the pipe is still frozen take precautions to protect your home against possible water damage in case the pipe leaks when it is thawed out. To thaw out your pipe you should first turn on the tap nearest to the frozen section of pipe to allow the water to flow out when the ice is melting. Thaw the pipe with a hot water bottle or hairdryer (be careful and make sure to keep the dryer away from any water to avoid electric shocks). Begin from the tap end and work back along the pipe.
Handy Tip: You should always be very gentle with a frozen pipe because if the pipe has burst you may not realise until the ice inside it has melted. Also you should never use a heat gun or blow torch.
PLUMBLINCS TOP TIPS TO PREVENT PLUMBING DISASTERS:
Many common plumbing & drainage problems can actually be prevented! So here are our top tips to avoid a plumbing emergency:
Only water should go down your sink…
One of the most common causes of blocked sinks and drains is putting food waste, fats and oils into drains and down plugholes. Over time these can accumulate in your system and result in a blockage. To help avoid any nasty surprises you should always thoroughly clear food from plates into a bin before washing them and never pour oil or grease down your plughole or toilet. The environment will thank you too!
Give your central heating a spring clean …
You may have heard of powerflushing but never really known why you should bother having it done. However choosing to have your heating system powerflushed could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Powerflushing is a process which removes deposits of sludge, rust and debris from your central heating system through the use of a purpose built high pressure flushing machine and cleansing solutions.
The debris that builds up over time can cause cold spots in radiators and also create blockages inside radiators and pipes which can lead to irreparable damage. Powerflushing can prevent you having to replace your boiler, valves, radiators and pumps prematurely. As well as this, a clean system will have free flowing hot water moving throughout so your boiler will be able to work more efficiently, your house will be warmer and you can even reduce your energy bills. It is advisable to have your system powerflushed every 5-10 years, depending on the age of the system and if it has been serviced regularly. For more information why not look at our Powerflushing feature page or call us to arrange a free quotation.
Keep your pipes cosy…
In winter many people end up with frozen pipes which can cause issues with your water supply and also leaks when they thaw out. You can help to prevent this by ensuring that any exposed pipework is sufficiently insulated before winter.
Keep an eye on the children…
Children & toddlers are curious, and before you know it you could end up with a toothbrush, toys or even clothes down your toilet or drain which could cause a blockage. So make sure your little ones are supervised and when they’re older be sure to educate them on what can and cannot go down the drains.
Don’t let leakages creep up on you…
Sometimes you can have a leak for a long time before it suddenly it develops into a major problem, or you may only notice when you end up with a huge water bill. Don’t let it catch you by surprise, get into the habit of carrying out a leak test regularly so that you can deal with a problem before it gets out of control. See above for our step-by-step guide on how to carry out a leak test.
Think carefully about your garden…
Everyone wants a beautiful garden, but some trees and bushes have spreading root systems which can damage water pipes and drains. So if you’re a keen gardener or if you’re having any landscaping done, be sure to think about where all your pipework is located and which plants you choose.
Give your home a routine “health check”…
Many problems are caused by household fixtures simply being neglected and not regularly maintained. For example, you know when the sealant around your shower is starting to come away or if a tap is looking rusty, but it’s not until it starts leaking that you actually get it sorted. Same as you would give your car a yearly service, why not give your house a regular check-up and look for anything which is desperately in need of some attention. This way you can resolve problems in your own time and avoid having to deal with a surprise bill when you least expect it.