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Plumbing Tips

Keeping your plumbing in good condition is really important. A boiler that is inefficient can cost you dearly over the years. A leak while you are on holiday can be a disaster - even after the insurance has paid out. Below you will find a few very useful tips and ideas that are not just for the professional.

Flush your pipes. Every three years or so you should have your plumber empty out the water in your central heating system, flush it out with cleaning compound and replace the water and add an inhibitor. My plumber gets two visits out of it as he leaves the cleaner in for a week or so. He informs me that in almost all cases a power flush is not necessary. Jim Sardari

Blocked sinks. If you are trying to unblock a blocked sink, cover up the overflow holes with a damp cloth. This helps build up the pressure. -- Janet Adamson, Washington DC. 

Toilets. If you think that your toilet might be leaking slightly, check to see if the problem is not due to condensation before calling out a plumber. If you have condensation problems they can be solved by improved ventilation when bathing or showering. -- Y Chan, NYC 

Remember to use PTFE tape when fixing a leak or making joints. The tape should be wrapped around the thread of the pipe. Clockwise when viewed from the end of the pipe is the correct way to put it on -- Robin Gill Southall England 

Showers. If the water pressure is very poor in your shower it may be due to limescale build up. Always clean your shower heads every three months. If the scale is too bad it may be an idea to get either a new hose, or a new shower head. -- Scott Ed 

Frozen Pipes. I find that the best way to melt the ice in frozen pipes is to put hot water bottles over them. Using a hair-dryer is good as well. -- Jon Simpson 

Noisy pipes If your water pipes sometimes make a loud "hammering noise" after the toilet has been flushed or sink, etc. Ask at the hardware store for something for "waterhammer". It's a fitting or somesuch thing which is easily installed in the line. A common problem and not very expensive. -- Anon

Taps , Faucets

New Taps: If you suffer from dripping taps it is usually due to two things. Firstly the washer may need to be replaced, or there is a damaged valve setting. You can buy replacements, but they are difficult to install. - Harry James. 

When taking a faucet apart, always keep the plug in, to prevent anything falling down the plug hole. - Larry Brown, LA.

More Plumbing Tips

Sweating Copper; an article extolling the virtues and advice on using the magic metal. 

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