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Plumbing FAQ’S

When you’ve been in the plumbing industry for several years, you quickly get to grips with the most common questions people ask about their plumbing. So we’ve listed them here and given our answers so that you have a handy sheet for plumbing problems that crop up regularly.

Why does my toilet get clogged up?

Everyone’s toilet is prone to get clogged up from time to time. The first thing to remember is don’t keep flushing in a desperate bid to unclog whatever’s going on down there as there is a risk that the water will overflow as the blockage is likely to be from the connectors. Call a plumber as soon as you notice this problem before it gets any worse.

Do drain cleaner actually actually work?

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When that dirty water just won’t drain out your sink, you know it’s time to do something about it. But what? Commercial drain cleaners can be quite effective but it depends on why your plughole is blocked. Don’t just chuck any old substance down there, make sure that you buy the right cleaner for the job and you should find that it sorts the problem out. If you don’t want to splash out on these drain cleaners (as they can be quite expensive) you could always try a plunger. Following that, if this doesn’t work then it’s time to get a plumber out, they can identify the problem quickly and get your drains flowing again in no time.

What should I do if my shower head is leaking?

If your shower head is leaking, it could be that the O-ring needs replacing. To find this, unscrew the shower head from the swivel-ball ring and look for something that looks like a seal. If it’s looking a bit worn or tatty, replacing it will probably fix the problem.

Dripping taps?

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This is the most frequently asked plumbing question. A dripping tap is a pain as the noise can disturb you in the middle of the night and if you’re on a water meter. It can end up adding charges to your bill. Dripping taps can be caused b a vast number of issues. For this reason, it’s usually more time effective to get a plumber in to check it out. They’ll be able to fix the problem quickly and efficiently for you.

How do I install my new dishwasher?

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In order to install a shiny new dishwasher, you’ll need to extend your hot water supply line to your dishwasher and then connecting the drain of your dishwasher to the drain pipe located under your sink. If you do all that without needing step by step instructions … Happy day! If you can’t, it’s honestly a good idea to get a plumber round to do it for you.

How do I replace my toilet handle?

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If your toilet handle is broken, you can usually replace it with just a new part and a wrench. Before you start, make sure you turn off the water supply to the toilet.  Then lift the lid and find the lift chain which should be attached to the handle rod- pull the chain, the tank should empty, then you can unhook the chain and remove the nut on the handle. Remove the old handle and replace it with the new one, reattaching the nut. Turn the water back on and the tank should fill back up. If you run into any problems, you know what we’re going to say: Call your plumber!

How do I replace pipes?

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This one is pretty straightforward – DON’T. This is one of the areas in which we definitely wouldn’t encourage DIY. Pipe replacement should always be completed by a qualified professional for safety’s sake. If the problem is a small leak however, you should be able to repair the issue with a patch kit.

I think my shower head is blocked with a weird white substance, how can I fix it?

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It’s very common for mineral deposits to build up in the shower heads and these can cause long-term problems by corroding the metal pretty quick. If you notice mineral deposits building up on your shower head, you can treat it with vinegar. Pour some into a plastic bag, place the shower head into the bag and let it sit overnight. When you take it out of the bag the next day, you should be able to scrub off the deposits with a toothbrush.

Why are my pipes rattling?

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This is usually indicative of poorly-secured water lines. The problem itself can be quite easily fixed, it’s getting to the lines that can be tricky. If you’re unsure, it’s probably best to get a plumber round to take a look.

Why does my toilet keep filling up every 10 minutes?

This could indicate that the flush valve in your toilet is not working properly and causing water to leak from the tank into the bowl. Open up the tank to check that the lift chain isn’t tangled as this can cause the problem. It might also be happening because the flapper is worn or damaged. If you’re not sure how to replace these parts, get in touch with your local plumber.

Argh… a burst pipe! What should I do?

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First things first, turn off the mains stopcock. This will take down the pressure of the leak and stop more water flowing out of the burst will need to be cut out and replaced but as mentioned before, we really don’t recommend that you do this yourself. Get in touch with us, your local plumbers in St Albans and we will be happy to help!

frequently asked questions our plumbers get asked
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