Help & Advice

From time to time, all of us end up having problems with our bathroom plumbing. Whether you’ve got a blocked toilet, blocked waste pipe, or leaking taps, having some basic knowledge on how to cope can be a big help.

Click or tap to find out more:

How to avoid damage from leaks

  • Look out for leaks in the piping under your kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • Fix an external dripping tap as soon as possible to avoid water damage through the outside wall
  • Regularly check your washing machine and dishwasher pipes for leaks, bulging or cracking. Get new pipes fitted if you spot any problems
  • Ask someone to check your home if you’re away for a while. This should help ensure leaking or burst pipes are spotted early and damage is kept to a minimum (tell them where the stopcock is)


How to prevent frozen pipes in winter

  1. Insulate your pipes and water storage tank. Pay close attention to joints and bends, and put the insulation foam on top of pipes rather than underneath them
  2. Turn off any indoor valves on pipes leading to outside taps. Then, open the outside tap and leave it open to let any water drain out to ensure there’s no water in the pipes to freeze
  3. Repair any dripping taps. If they freeze, they’ll block your pipes
  4. Regularly check all the taps in your home during the winter months. If little or no water flows, there may be frozen water in the pipes
  5. If you are away from home in the winter, set your central heating to come on for a short period each day to prevent pipes from freezing. Don’t be tempted to turn the heating off while you’re away

How to keep your drains clear

  1. Avoid putting any food waste down the sink as this can cause a blockage
  2. Never pour fat down the sink. Instead, let it cool and then put it in a container for disposal

How to fix a Dripping Tap

Before carrying out any basic repairs to water taps you will need to ensure that you can safely isolate the cold and hot water supplies, have a basic to good level of DIY skills, have the right tools to hand and able to use them safely for the correct purpose.

Basically there are two types of domestic tap and you will need to know which type you have before tackling the repair. The first and possibly the most common, incorporates a simple, standard sized rubber washer to restrict or stop the flow of water, this will usually be ¾” for larger bath type taps or ½” for single basin type taps. The washers can be obtained at any good DIY store and reasonably easy to fit once the tap has been dissembled.

The second type incorporates ceramic disc cartridge to restrict or stop the flow of water. These are becoming more common, lever or small paddle type operation taps will normally be ceramic cartridge type and most new taps supplied with bathrooms and kitchens will be the ceramic cartridge type. Depending on the design, these taps can be awkward to strip down and you will need to replace the correct sized cartridge if simple cleaning does not cure the issue. The cartridges are not normally stocked locally as they are specific to each manufacturer and there are just too many different types, therefore this type of repair may be best placed with a plumber. In certain situations it may even be more cost effective to replace the complete tap.

How to fix a blocked toilet

Blocked toilets are annoying, but the solution is actually really simple, if a little unpleasant: pull on some rubber gloves and get stuck in! If you can dislodge the blockage by hand, great, if not use a plunger until the water drains on its own, however, if you live in a block of flats there is a risk that you could just move the blockage further down the stack pipe causing a further issue with the flats below.