Plumbing & Heating Tips
24 Hour Emergency Plumber Service
Our 24 Hour Emergency Plumber Service provides a rapid response – yet it’s still best to prevent disasters in the first place. Here are some useful tips to prevent having to call an emergency plumber.
• Ensure that you know the location of the stop valve on the incoming water supply and that it works.
• You should also make sure that you know the location of your outside manhole should access be required to your drains.
• In cold weather, take measures to prevent water pipes from becoming frozen.
• Ensure that all exposed pipes and storage systems are properly insulated, especially those in the loft region. If in doubt open up the hatch to the roof space to allow some heat to come through from the house, to keep the cistern from freezing.
• Do not let dripping taps and ball valves go unchecked – this is a sure sign that your plumbing system requires maintenance.
• Stop valves will corrode – check yours every 3-months.
• Ask your plumber to fit isolation valves – this will help in emergency situations and can help to prevent unnecessary damage to your home in case of a plumbing emergency.
Belfast Plumbing and Solar is here to assist in all your plumbing needs whether they be urgent or planned. Should you require a home plumbing survey where recommendations can be made on any improvements to your plumbing system, this service is also available.
• Grease, soap and slime build-up – a gradual build-up of any of these substances can cause stoppages. Grease from cooking, for example chip pans, should never be poured straight down the sink. The grease as it cools will stick to the side of the waste pipe and build up causing problems later on. Always dilute such substances with water.
• Foreign objects and tree roots – tree roots can enter pipes where there is a weakness or small crack and start to grow inside the pipe. Foreign objects can also enter the main drain pipes from common day-to-day household waste. Keep external drains free of leaves by regularly flushing out with hot water.
• If your soil pipe is cast iron, then it might be time to think about having it replaced. Cast iron soil and drain pipes will not last forever, and plastic alternatives are a cheap long term answer.
• Do not flush away disposable nappies, kitchen roll or sanitary towels.
• Remove hair that gathers in the bath or shower plug hole before it causes a blockage problem.
• Remove scraps of food from the kitchen sink before they have the chance to cause a blockage.
• Have the boiler serviced annually – the summer is the best time – engineers are extremely busy during the winter and many will be reluctant to call during this period.
• Is the timer/ programmer set correctly?
• Fit thermostatic radiator valves in all rooms to allow you to control temperatures – don’t heat up rooms unnecessarily.
• Ensure all pipes are lagged/ insulated correctly.
• Insulate your loft – most heat escapes through your roof.
• Check for drafts around windows/ doors & letterboxes and insulate if necessary.
• Older boilers can be inefficient – modern combination or condensing boilers are much more energy efficient.
• Only heat areas of the house you use, for example turn off the radiator in the spare bedroom.
• Place an insulating jacket over your hot water tank. This can save up to £15 a year.
• Don’t overheat your home. Turning your thermostat down by one degree can reduce your fuel consumption by around 10%.
Stopcock and gate valves rarely ever get used and often fail to work just when you need, which is normally in an emergency , where water needs to be turned off or insulated.
Periodically check stopcocks and gate valves to ensure that operate smoothly by opening and closing them.
If the spindle moves stiffly simply lubricate them with a little penetration oil.
Stopcocks are fitted with a standard washer, but as it hardly comes under pressure it is very unlikely to wear,however the gland packing on both stopcocks and gate valves may need attention.