Look after your home plumbing

Preventing burst water pipes

The damaged caused to your property from burst or leaking water pipes may include ruined carpets and furniture, damaged tarmac and lawns and the loss of expensive luxury items like TVs, computers and games machines.

During the harsh winter months outside temperatures can drop below zero causing water to freeze in water pipes. As the water in the pipes freezes and turns to ice it can expand by up to 10%, the resulting pressure from the expansion can force the pipe to burst or force open pipe couplings. There are a number of things you could do to avoid damaged water pipes during winter, these include:

  • Insulate all of your water supply pipes.
  • Keep your central heating at a minimum 13C-16C, if it is forecast to drop below freezing.
  • Try leaving cabinet doors and loft hatch doors open to allow warmer air from the house to circulate around the pipes and water tank.
  • If you are planning on leaving you home for an extended period over the winter months, make sure to drain water out of the plumbing pipes.
  • If you do return home to frozen pipes only use mild heat, such as towels soaked in warm water, to try to thaw them out.

Avoid clogged drains

Drains that are slow to drain are a sign of problems ahead, here are a few tips to avoid clogging your drains:

  • Do not pour fat and grease down the drain. When you have finished cooking allow the fat to cool in the pan and then scoop out as much as you can and put it in the bin. If you pour fat or grease down your drain it will harden in your drainage pipes as it cools, eventually causing the pipes to clog.
  • Make it a part of your regular cleaning regime to pour boiling hot water down the drain to dislodge hardened fat or other build ups. You can also flush the drains regularly by filling your sink and bath to the top before pulling the plug. The subsequent volume and weight of the water will do a good job of flushing the plumbing pipes.
  • Every two or three months check the stoppers in your sink and bath tub and clean away any build up of hair or soap scum.

Getting your boiler serviced

A lot of people consider an annual boiler service to be an un-necessary expense, if it is running fine then why bother? Your heating system needs regular servicing, just like your car, to ensure it is running to its maximum efficiency and, again like a car, to make sure it is running safely and will not put your family at risk.

Although you may end up paying every year to have your boiler serviced you will save money in the long run by having a much more efficient heating system. A more efficient heating system will result in lower gas bills for you. Regular servicing will also go a long way to preventing your boiler breaking down and improve the overall life of your boiler, the cost of a boiler repair or, worst case scenario, the cost of a new boiler would dwarf the cost of regular servicing.

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