A guide to four simple plumbing problems

Editor’s Note: From time to time we entertain guest articles. Today’s guest article was written by D Whiteside.


As the cooler months approach rapidly, some of us will be checking to make sure our houses are made more energy efficient, while others will be making sure they have adequate boiler cover in case  something goes wrong.

However, it’s also a good idea to make sure you have the skills to deal with any smaller plumbing problems that might crop up during a time when it can be even tougher to get a specialist out. Here are five simple plumbing fixes you may just be able to take care of yourself.

Burst pipes

A burst pipe can cause many to go into a flap, but if you take a deep breath before finding the water mains and switching your supply off, you could well find yourself much less stressed. Now in this case, you will need to get a plumber out to solve the actual problem, but by telling yourself not to panic you’ll be better equipped to sort out the clean-up operation.

Blocked loos

Often this is as simple a task as buying a cheap plunger and getting busy with it in the u-bend. If you find this tool isn’t enough to shift that nasty blockage though – there are other options. Plumbing wire will allow you to get right in where the plunger cannot go and loosen what needs to be moved, while a drain snake will offer you a more comprehensive clearing option too.

Leaky taps

Easily one of the most common plumbing problems homeowners will face, but one that is usually as simple as replacing an old washer. First off, switch off the water at the mains, then – holding the spout of the tap – unscrew the nut that holds it in place. Next, remove the washer, pop on the new one and make sure you secure the bolt tightly. You should find in most cases this is enough to fix the problem.

Clogged up sinks

Whether it is the bathroom or the kitchen, it’s very easy for a sink to get clogged up. If it’s the former, it’ll likely be as simple as removing hair, but in the latter – food can make its way into the pipes and cause a real problem. As with toilets, a plunger or plumbing wire will usually sort it, however you may also want to get under the sink and remove the pipe. Just be careful to clear the area as it may get a bit wet when you do.

Home emergency cover is always a good idea for the bigger things, but a little preparation could be all you need for some of the smaller tasks around the house.

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