Plumbing systems in domestic and commercial buildings can be complex. Made even more challenging if certain parts have been upgraded when others haven’t. Due to the complexity of plumbing systems they can be costly to repair and hard to understand.
The average home can encounter a wide range of plumbing issues. It’s therefore good to have some basic knowledge to help you understand what to do when things stop working. Some people can feel intimidated as they don’t know how the plumbing in their home or business works. So, it’s very useful to know some basic information to feel less anxious when problems occur.
Once you learn some of the simple problems to look out for you can decide whether to fix them yourself or call in the professionals. If you how to identify common plumbing problems you are more likely to get the issue fixed sooner. By acting quickly, you could save money and cause less damage to the property and your bank balance.
Here are the top five common plumbing problems in the UK with some advice about what to do should you encounter them.
A dripping tap is not only an annoying noise; it also wastes a lot of water. Around 5,500 litres of water a year can be wasted from a dripping tap. That’s enough to fill a paddling pool, every week, for the whole summer. If you are on a water metre, you could be paying an extra £18 a year per dripping tap.
As soon as you notice your tap dripping it’s worth getting it fixed quickly. Faulty taps don’t necessarily need replacing they can drip due to worn out washers or valves that have corroded. By dismantling the tap, you can sometimes identify which part has worn away or broken. In seeking advice from a Plumber, they can recommend if the tap could be repaired instead of you having to buy a new one.
Slow or Clogged Drains
A slowing draining sink, bathtub or shower can is one of the most common plumbing problems we encounter. We’re all guilty of letting waste, other than water, drain into plug holes. The first thing to investigate when you have a slow running drain is if there is any visible debris that could be easily cleaned out. Once anything visible is gone you may want to use a specific drain cleaner tool or liquid that could help rinse out and clear any debris that has lodged further into the pipework.
To help prevent drains from clogging you can purchase plug screens that catch debris which you can then throw away. You also need to be careful about pouring any oil or fat down the drain. As this cools, it can solidify and create blockages.
It’s also important that you are careful what you flush down the toilet. Anything other than paper can build up and create drain issues. Products like baby wipes may look flushable, and often even say they’re flushable on the packaging. However, in reality, they don’t breakdown and are a major contributing factor to blocked drains.
When you flush the toilet and the water continues to run this could mean you have a problem with the tank. In a correctly functioning toilet, the tank empties when flushed, and a flapper cap then covers the opening to stop the water flow. If the flapper cap becomes loose or breaks, then the flow of water will continue to run through.
Other fixtures in the toilet tank can also break including the fill valve or overflow valve. If you feel like you want to tackle these issues yourself, then online guides are available which are fairly easy to follow. However, if you are unsure what is causing the problem or how to fix it, First 4 Plumbing is always happy to help.
Water leaking from cold or hot water pipes are often hidden by walls and fixtures and can be hard to spot. These hidden leaks can waste thousands of litres of water and can silently and slowly damage your property. If you have a water metre, you can take note of your water usage, and if it seems oddly high, this could mean you have a hidden leak.
A good time to check for any signs of leaky pipes is during a spring clean. If you move furniture, you may notice damp patches.
In the bathroom, once it’s clean, you may notice a musty smell that could indicate that water is gathering in an area you can’t see. If your water pressure starts to drop this could be due to a leak in a pipe. To identify where the leak is coming from work back from a water source to see where the pipework goes. It is most common that leaks in pipes occur in a join when the fixing has become loose. To ensure the leak is correctly sealed it is best to seek out professional plumbing advise.
As most of the pipework in our homes and businesses is hidden, we go through our day to day lives never appreciating the hard work that our plumbing systems do. Then one day, maybe early in the morning or late at night, you hear an odd noise from hidden pipes.
Some plumbing systems have air chambers. These ensure that water is not forced to change direction when it reaches the wall of a pipe. The chambers can fill with water over time, and when they do, they can start to make unwanted noises.
To clear the water from your air chambers turn off the mains water supply and then run each tap in the property. Once your system is clear, you can then turn back on the mains water supply. Your annoying pipe noise should be a thing of the past.
Other noisy pipe issues can be caused by movement when water flows. To prevent pipes moving, they are normally supported by pipe mounting straps. If the straps have broken or become loose, you’ll need to get a Plumber to fix them.
Problems with water pressure can also create pipe noises. It’s a good idea to seek plumbing advice to measure what the pressure is, as it may need adjusting.
If you need help with one of the common plumbing problems we’ve mentioned above, or you have something a little more complex then please contact First 4 Plumbing. No job is too big or too small and we offer a 24hr emergency call out service should the plumbing issue be serious.