Plumbing FAQs

1. How do I turn the water off in my home?

In most properties the stopcock (which turns off the water supply) is in the kitchen, under the sink. However, in some properties it might be in the hall or in a cupboard. Or, if you live in a block of flats, it could be in a communal area, like the basement of the building. To turn off the water supply, twist the tap or lever clockwise. You should make sure you know where your stopcock is located and that you can turn it on and off easily. You want to avoid having to search for it in an emergency, when there is water flooding your home!

2. What should I do if a pipe bursts?

First of all, turn off your water supply to prevent further damage (see above for how to do this). If you think water may have gone into any sockets or the fuse box, turn off your electrical supply as well. Next, you need to drain water out of all the faucets: run the cold taps until there is no water left and flush the toilet until the bowl is empty. Turn off your boiler and then do the same for your hot water supply. Make sure you mop up water as soon as possible to avoid mould. And don’t forget to document everything for insurance purposes.

If you have an emergency, we are on call 24 hours. There are also a number of steps you can take to protect your pipes and prevent leaks or floods in the future. Please call us for advice or to arrange a callout.

3. How can I prevent frozen pipes?

Frozen pipes can be a huge headache – there’s nothing worse than returning home to find you have no water or heating. Or even worse, that your pipes have burst. The good news is that there are a number of preventative steps you can take. Insulate pipes or tanks, particularly those that are in cold spaces like lofts or basements. When you go away, leave your heating on low so there is hot water circulating in the system. And make sure to service your boiler regularly.

4. What should I do if I have frozen pipes?

If your pipes are frozen and you can access the affected area, there are a number of things you can do. First, turn off the water supply to your property. Then, wrap pipes in towels soaked in hot water or apply a hot water bottle, starting at the end nearest the tap. You can also use a hairdryer at its lowest setting. Don’t use a blowtorch as this can damage the pipes.

5. Why do I need to get my boiler serviced?

A boiler should be serviced every year. This is to make sure that it is both safe and efficient. A faulty boiler can put you and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. As well as looking for leaks, an engineer will also check that your boiler is running efficiently and fix any issues that could worsen over time. So, while a service can seem like an unnecessary expense, it can save you money in the long run and provide peace of mind. All of our engineers are Gas Safe registered.

6. How long does a boiler installation take?

This varies depending on the model that is being installed. However, it will normally take at least a day.

7. Why are some of my radiators hotter than others?

If some of your radiators are hotter or colder than others, then it could mean that your heating system is unbalanced. To fix it, you need to restrict the flow of hot water to the warmer radiators by turning the valve at the bottom. This will allow a greater flow of hot water to the other, colder radiators. You may need to adjust this a number of times to fix the problem. If you find that you still have a problem, there could be a fault with one of the valves or the pump.

8. Why is one of my radiators not heating the room properly?

It could be that it is not working properly (see above). However, it might also be that the radiator is too small for the space it needs to heat.

9. Can I turn the radiators off in rooms that we don’t use?

We wouldn’t recommend this as it can cause condensation. However, to save energy and money, you can turn the temperature down to a lower setting.

10. What is a power flush and why should I get one?

A power flush removes the build-up of debris and sludge from your central heating system using a chemical solution. A power flush makes the system run more efficiently. This can result in lower energy bills, less noise and hotter water and radiators. It can also help extend the life of your heating system.