Blockbusters Handy Drainage & Plumbing Tips
Blocked drains, sinks or baths can cause nasty odours and can be an environmental and health hazard, so it is important to take necessary precautions to stop blockages from occurring. These simple measures can be taken to prevent or minimize the likelihood of drains blocking, and also include emergency temporary solutions you can use to alleviate problems whilst waiting for professionals to arrive and carry out necessary repairs.
Toilets, Sinks, Showers & Taps
- Regularly remove hairs from plug holes in sink, bath and shower.
- Make sure you turn water off at source before clearing taps by taking them apart.
- If you are removing nice tap fittings, use a thick cloth to protect them from the jaws of the wrench, this will prevent scratches on your fittings.
- If you are taking a tap apart over the sink, make sure you keep the plug in to prevent any useful tools or fittings falling down the plug hole.
- Flush sanitary pipework with disinfectant on a regular basis.
- No not flush disposable items such as nappies, baby wipes, sanitary towels or tissues down the toilet.
- You can use food colouring to test whether your cistern is leaking.
- If your toilet ball float is leaking, unscrew it, empty it, screw it back on and cover it with a plastic bag (please note this is only a temporary solution until the ball float is replaced).
- If you think that your toilet may be leaking, check first to see if the problem is not due to condensation before calling a plumber. Problems with condensation can be simply solved by improving ventilation while bathing/showering.
- A “hammering water pipe” is caused by a build up of pressure within the pipe and can be drastically improved by turning down your water pressure at the stop-cock.
- Before using a plunger, coat the edge of the plunger’s cup with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to improve suction. A few inches of water in the sink will also help.
- If you are using a plunger to unblock a sink, cover the overflow holes with a damp cloth. This will help build up pressure.
- Do not place foreign objects where they risk falling into the toilet.
- Do not pour fat down sinks (if there is no alternative, mix with very hot water and plenty of detergent).
- If your water pipe has split, wrap torn strips of fabric tightly around the break and place a large saucepan or bucket underneath to catch any drips. This will minimise leaking until a qualified plumber arrives to carry out a proper repair.
- Make sure grid covers are in place and in good condition.
- Keep grid covers clear of leaves and debris.
- Clean gutters and downpipes every 6 months.
- Never put engine oil down a drain (there is a recycling tank located at your local waste disposal site).
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