In the toolbox…………
From blocked toilets to a burst pipe, unfortunately there may come a time when you need to reach for that old tool box in a plumbing emergency. Here are a few simple, inexpensive items that can be added, just in case, that could avoid a minor problem quickly turning into a major problem before a qualified plumber can fix the underlying issue.
Blocked toilet, sink, shower or bath……
- Toilet Auger – A long flexible shaft usually made of metal that can be used to dislodge a blockage and temporarily fix a clogged toilet, depending on how bad the situation is.
- Plunger – Also known as a “plumber’s friend”, ideal to use when it comes to toilet, shower or sink blockages. A vacuum is created when the plunger is pushed down and released attracting any clogged material and loosening a possible blockage.
- A wet-dry vac or highly absorbent mop and bucket – To quickly remove water that has leaked and pooled because of a burst pipe or broken appliance, water damage can be expensive to resolve and can be minimized if dealt with quickly.
Some Common Plumbing Problems and Solutions……
Why does it happen? Most commonly caused by freezing temperatures and unprotected pipework usually because of incorrect heating in your home.
What to do – Turn the water off immediately, whether this is at the meter or the main water valve in the home. Turn off the electricity, never touch any electronics with wet hands. Drain the entire system by turning on all the cold water taps in the house and flush the toilet. Turn the heating system off and run the hot water taps to completely drain the water and prevent pooling. Remove water that has pooled.
Why does it happen? A faulty, incorrectly installed or poorly maintained appliance. Always ensure all gas appliances are installed and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
What to do – Never turn on or turn off any electrical switches, use mobile devices inside the house, smoke or use a naked flame. Open all windows and doors to air out the home and turn off the gas supply completely.
Why does it happen? Usually because of a physical blockage such as too much toilet paper, hair or other non-flushable items.
What to do – If the blockage is minimal and visible, a bent coat hanger can be used to dislodge the material. Or reach for the tool box, a plunger or toilet auger will also effectively remove a stubborn blockage. If the problem persists the issue could be further down or could be due to an underlying fault with the system, a qualified plumber will be required to resolve the issue.
Why does it happen? Debris, food items and oil are the main culprits causing a slow draining sink or a complete blockage.
What to do – This can simply be a matter of cleaning out the plug hole, removing any grime that could be preventing the drainage of water. If it’s time to use a plunger, ensure the plug hole is covered in water to create an airtight seal, block up the overflow with a dishcloth and plunge away. A small amount of baking soda and white vinegar can be used to assist the breakdown any grime or debris in the pipe.
A little knowledge can go a long way in reducing your plumbing repair costs and maintaining a working system. These few tricks will assist you in keeping the damage to a minimum until a professional plumber can be called in to complete the correct repairs.
Always choose a suitably qualified and Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out the work.