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A Comprehensive Guide to London Plumbing and Heating Supplies

plumbing taps

Living in London by yourself can be very exciting. Whether you are renting your first flat or buying your first house, nothing can beat the feeling of coming home to a space that is truly yours. After spending years squeezing in with family members and roommates, living on your own can be such a relief.   

Having your own place is not all fun and games, though. When you are a homeowner, you are responsible for managing the different elements to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Your tasks can include paying your utility bills, buying groceries every week, and ensuring the home is nice and clean. With all these responsibilities and trips to High Street for errands, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. In all the hustle and bustle, one task that is frequently overlooked, but just as important, is maintaining the systems that tirelessly work to ensure you have running water and consistent heat. 

Your plumbing and central heating system are the bare bones of modern indoor living. When these systems fail, your whole day and schedule can get screwed. Homeowners are encouraged to learn how to maintain each part so that the overall systems don’t fail. Besides knowing a few maintenance tips, you should also look into expanding your toolbox and supplies. 

Do I Need To Provide Supplies For My Plumber/Engineer?

You might be wondering, “what is the point of getting plumbing/heating supplies if I have my service provider?” While it is true that most service providers offer to purchase the items needed, you don’t have to depend on them. You can invest in these supplies yourself. After all, it is just a quick stop to your local hardware store. You can get quality parts better when you see the store’s options and get items at competitive trade prices.

There are many benefits to purchasing tools and supplies on your own. The main one being your budget. London plumbing & heating supplies are expensive, especially when you purchase them through your local plumber or heating engineer. You have to account for the time and effort they put into sourcing the materials. 

Now there is a benefit to working with your plumber or boiler engineer. The first is when they offer deals and discounts you won’t see at the hardware store. And the second is when it is an extremely difficult item to source. Since your plumber or engineer often does similar work in other homes, they can have a large stock of these parts and accessories. Your service provider might have a connection to a business or manufacturer that exclusively sells these parts. In these cases, the convenience may be worth it. 

When it comes to finding tools and supplies, it is ultimately up to you. You can ask your plumber or heating engineer to purchase the materials as an extra service, or you can opt to look for them yourself. 

How Will I Be Charged For Parts And Materials?

When you work with services like Plumbingforce, the tools are a part of our service. We come with the things we need to get the job done. However, when you need to repair or replace a part of your shower, taps, or pipes–that is considered an additional fee. They will usually walk you through the prices of each piece, and they will be reflected in your final bill.  

If you are uncomfortable with the price or you would rather purchase the part by yourself, you are not obligated to follow through on the repair/replacement immediately. If you want to wait, you can. As long as you are okay with losing your water or heating, you can take your time weighing the pros and cons of each suggestion.

Things You Can Buy For DIY-Friendly Tasks

Now not everyone who looks into plumbing and heating supplies is about saving a couple of pounds. Sometimes it can be about learning how to take matters into your own hands and doing DIY-friendly projects. You can separate your shopping list into 3 sections: basic tools, plumbing, and heating. 

Basic Tools

Basic tools and supplies cover the section of items that can be useful for plumbing, heating, and DIY projects. They are multi-functional and can be a great addition in any first home. 

Adjustable Spanner

An adjustable spanner/wrench can help you tighten or loosen nuts, bolts, and similar items that need a grip that you can’t manually provide. They are especially helpful if you want to replace your magnaclean filter or deal with your leaky pipes. 


For smaller bits and pieces, you need a screwdriver. It can come especially handy when you are trying to install new plumbing fixtures or take out the small clips under your sink. Screwdrivers have different tips, but the most common ones are the flat-head (-) and the cross-head (+). Before you purchase your screwdriver, look at what type you need at home so you can get the most use out of it.  


Both your plumbing and heating system depend on filters to keep the pipework in good shape. The UK’s hard water tends to be harsh, so an additional filter can help slow down debris from building up. Most filters are easy to install, so you should have no trouble finding them online or in your local hardware store. 

Lagging Kit

When winter comes around, no one wants a frozen pipe, because you may have to go without proper plumbing and heating. A lagging kit is a way for you to insulate your pipes properly, so it doesn’t freeze overnight. It is always best to get one around autumn and have it installed just before winter comes around to make sure that you won’t have to deal with a frozen condensate pipe or mainline. 


Buckets may seem like a pretty obvious thing to have on hand, but you might be surprised at how many people forget. When you find yourself draining your central heating system or replacing your sink, you need a bucket to catch the stray water. Get a decent-sized one to avoid frequently emptying it as you go about your task or project.

Sponge and Rags

A lot of maintenance tasks for your plumbing and heating system boils down to keeping your system clean. Having a dedicated sponge and rag can make it more convenient for you. 


If you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, you can get these plumbing supplies to get started. 

Toilet Plunger/Auger

Toilet blockages happen all the time, and it doesn’t take a lot of work to address them. Invest in a solid toilet plunger and make sure the rubber is soft and flexible. If a toilet plunger doesn’t do the trick, you can look into a toilet auger or toilet snake. 

Toilet Flapper 

The toilet flapper is one of the first parts of your toilet that needs to be replaced. When it is old, it lets water past and creates multiple flushes. Leaving the problem alone can make for costly water bills, so it is best to address it immediately. 

Flush Valves

If you have a more modern toilet, you might have a flush valve instead of the regular toilet flapper. It is also something you can replace by yourself. Flush valves usually come in different sizes, but a universal one might do the trick. You can always look at your current model’s specs and ask your sales representative for a match.

Plumbing Accessories

You can look into getting other plumbing accessories like showerheads, chrome-finished taps, gauges, pumps, and other fittings for upgrading your bathroom.


Your heating system may be dependent on your boiler engineer, but there are a handful of things you can have on hand, so you don’t have to go without heating for long. 

Radiator Key

Most people can use an adjustable wrench to bleed their radiators, but you can also have a radiator key or bleed key. It is a small device that does the same job, but will not put the same wear on your valve. 

Replacement Valves 

If you live in an old home, your radiators are bound to have a bit of rust and limescale build-up in the system. A bit of trapped air, 5-10 years ago that wasn’t addressed can create sludge a0330 173 7985!nd damage your valves and pipes. Having replacements on hand means you can have it taken care of when you manage to get your plumber or heating engineer around.


Most homes probably have a thermostat, but you should definitely consider getting a smart one if you are looking for a replacement. Smart thermostats cover the basics like setting your heating and hot water schedule. However, they go beyond the regular programmable one because they have systems in place to be more energy efficient. 

The savings you make with a smart thermostat depends on the model and your usage. However, to get a general figure Nest Learning Thermostat claims to save 10-12% for heating and 15% for cooling in energy bills for their clients. It may be negligible for the first few months, but think about long-term use? Hint: it adds up. 

Boiler Spare Parts

While there is little you can do for major boiler repairs, you can still get spare parts to prepare for possible breakdowns. If you are a business that cannot afford to lose heating, having some of the common supplies on hand can minimise the wait time. 

When it comes to finding plumbing/heating supplies in London, you can either visit the top-rated plumber store near you or simply order online. When you cannot inspect the product in person, user reviews are a great reference if you are unsure. 

If you are too busy or you don’t want to deal with the usual London traffic, most businesses offer delivery services. With that, you don’t have to make the trip down to High Street in London. Plumbing/heating supplies should arrive straight to your doorstep.

However, when it comes down to it, you can always depend on your service provider in London to help you find your plumbing/heating supplies instead. For any last-minute hiccups, Plumbingforce has same day service for issues you may have. Whether it is blockages in your drain or a noisy boiler, you can book our services online or call us at

What To Do With A Burst Pipe?

broken pipe

Having a burst pipe in the household is probably one of the worst things that can happen to your household. Everyone knows that bad things happen when your pipe bursts. Some of the negative results of a burst pipe include house flooding, mould, wet floorboards, property destruction, etc.

Wintertime is usually when most households experience a burst pipe. The water inside the pipes freezes and expands, leading to burst pipes. Often, homeowners find about their burst pipe too late – when the damage is already irreparably bad and the house is a mess. Burst pipes would cost £1000s worth of damage to your property. One frozen pipe could easily turn your property into

Here are some tell-tale signs that your property has a busted pipe. If you catch any of these red flags, it might be in your best interest to look around immediately. 

Signs of a Busted Water Pipe

  • Fluctuating water pressure
  • Sudden spike on your water bill
  • Clanging Noise
  • Water puddles forming on the floor
  • Musty smell

Don’t ignore these signs if you find any on your property. Small leaks can turn a disastrous way when you leave them alone. You can read more on how to address, identify and prevent water leaks here.

How To Prevent Burst Pipes

When wintertime comes, water freezing inside your pipes can often lead to a burst pipe. Water damage will definitely cost you so much money. Here, we discuss some of the ways on how to prevent burst pipes. 

  1. Run Water In Your Pipes Every Day

Water freezes at 32°F. Remember this number. When the temp reaches this number, make sure that you run water in your pipes every day. Just open your faucet for a minute or two. Pipes won’t freeze when water moves through your plumbing.

  1. Turn Off Your Water

If you’re going out on a holiday, turn off your water system. Your pipes won’t freeze when there is no cold water running through them. Empty out your pipes. Nothing is worse than dealing with water damage after a relaxing holiday. Once you’ve shut off your valve, get rid of any standing water in your pipes by draining it all. Open both your cold tap and your hot tap and make sure they’re both completely drained out.

  1. Install Thermal Insulating Tape

Do you have exposed pipes? You can easily go to the hardware store and buy rolls of thermal insulating tape. The tape prevents your pipes from freezing. Just cover your pipes with this tape and it will prevent your pipe from reaching freezing temperatures.

  1. Don’t Use Drain Cleaners

When you have a drain blockage, don’t use drain cleaners. It might sound counterintuitive but many experts recommend not using drain cleaners. Harsh chemicals present will weaken the structural integrity of your pipes. This is also how to stop a water leak from happening. use natural methods for cleaning out blockages like baking soda and vinegar instead.

  1. Have A Wall Thermometer

You should know where the majority of your pipes are located. Install a wall thermometer inside that room so that you can monitor the temperature. When your temp goes below 32 degrees, you will know that you should take extra steps. 

What To Do With A Burst Pipe?

So the unthinkable happened. You have a burst pipe. Don’t panic. Here are the steps on what to do when you have a burst pipe in your home.

  1. Shut off the Water Main

The first thing to do when you have a burst pipe is to shut off your water main. Everyone in the household must know where the main water valve and fuse box are in case of an emergency. Turning off your water will make sure that you do not flood your entire house. Doing so also reduces the number of items damaged by the water overflow.

  1. Turn Off Your Power

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Bust out some flashlights and turn off your power along with your water supply. You don’t want to accidentally electrocute yourself or a family member, do you? Or worse. Start a fire. Once you have turned off your power, you can now safely work on the burst pipe.

  1. Mop Up The Mess

The next thing to do is to mop up the mess that the burst pipe has created. You want to do this as quickly as possible so the damage doesn’t spread. Create a barrier of towels and rags around the perimeter. Try to dry the place quickly so your floorboards don’t soak too much excess water. Damp floorboards can give off an unpleasant, musty smell.

  1. Thaw Out Your Pipes

If your pipes burst because it’s frozen, you should thaw them out first. DON’T use fire though. This will lead to bigger problems, especially if your water pipe is next to a gas pipe. Wrap your pipes in towels soaked in hot water and wait for the ice to melt.

  1. Plug The Hole

Locate the hole and identify if there are other holes. Cover the hole securely with pipe sealant and let it dry. You can then turn the water supply back on just to see if you did a proper job.

Put a towel and a bucket underneath just in case there are micro leaks.

  1. Contact A Local Plumber

So you’ve remedied the situation. It’s now time to contact a professional plumber to replace your broken pipe. You read that right. The pipe sealant is just a temporary fix. What you want is a more permanent fix or you might end up with the same problem in a few days. It is still recommended that you let a local plumber check your pipes. This way, you can ensure that your pipes are working in perfect condition. Our plumbers can come to your property on the same day as your call.

8 Ways To Unblock Your Shower Drain Without Using Drain Cleaners

Shower drain

A blocked shower drain can significantly affect your bathroom schedule. Just how many days can you last without having to take a shower? Do you know how to unblock your shower drain? You’re probably thinking. It’s simple. Just pour a bottle of drain cleaners down the pipe, give it a few minutes, and flush it out. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, right?


Why Are Commercial Drain Cleaners Bad?

While it may seem like an elegant and inconvenient solution, drain cleaners are not recommended by professional plumbers. Drain cleaners are made up of sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide, among other harsh chemicals. These chemicals have corrosive properties that can rid your pipes of most blockages. 

When poured down a drain opening, the chemical reaction removes the block, usually made up of hair and soap. Unfortunately for your pipes, the drain cleaners also thin them out. Harsh chemicals, when used too often, takes its toll on your pipes. You may end up with micro leaks, or worse, a flood. 

Additionally, drain cleaners also let out toxic fumes that you and your family can inhale. It is also a known nose and eye irritant. 

Here, we will discuss seven alternative ways to unblock the shower drain without using drain cleaners. If it’s your toilet that is the problem, read how to unblock a toilet here.

  • Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain

You would be surprised at how many blockages can be fixed with a pot of boiling water. Shower drain blockages are, more often than not, caused by hair and soap buildup in your pipes. Hot water can melt the soap and grease that’s in your pipes.

Just boil some water and pour it down your drain. Make sure that you use a funnel, so you don’t spill on the floor and splash yourself with hot water.

If your pipe has a serious blockage, then the hot water trick will probably not work. However, it will soften or clear the blockage a little, making it easier for the rest of the methods underneath to work.

  • Use a Plunger

The toilet plunger is one of the most common solutions when it comes to blocked shower drains. It’s cheap and does not require any technical know-how. Just get in there and plunge vigorously until you can suction the blockage out. Once you have cleared the backup, make sure that you install a shower drain cover so it can stop the hair and soap bits from falling so quickly. 

Line the seal of your plunger with some petroleum jelly to create a tight vacuum seal, making it more effective.

  • Baking Soda + Vinegar

If the old plunger doesn’t work, then it’s time for a little chemistry…without the harsh chemicals, of course. Baking soda is not just for baking. Everyone knows that. You can use it to create volcanic papier-mâchés, remove rust from your pans, or even take out the musty smell from your refrigerator. However, baking soda has another use.

Combining baking soda and vinegar might sound like a 4th-grade science project, but it will get your blockage out of the way. Pour a cup or two of baking soda down your clogged drain. Afterward, add the same amount of vinegar. Give it up to an hour for the reaction to work out your blocked pipe and then pour boiling water down the drain.

  • Take the drain cover off and pull out the clog by hand.

So the baking soda and vinegar didn’t work. Forget science. It’s time to go caveman and just get in there. Wear rubber gloves and stick your hand inside the pipe. Try to reach the blockage and pull it out. The first thing that you need to do is to remove your drain cover. Bring a screwdriver so you can unscrew the cover first. You might also need it to pry the cover. Use a flashlight to double-check whether you took out all of the blockage or not.

  • Use a Plumber’s Snake

Another cheap alternative to drain cleaners is by using a plumber’s snake or toilet jack or an electric eel. You can go to the hardware store and buy one as long as 25 to 100 feet. You can go for a longer length if you think that the blockage is way down.

You can easily fish out clogs by pushing the plumber’s snake down the drain. When you feel resistance, that means you have hit the block. Turn the snake’s handle, so the end gets twisted around the blockage and pull. Run water on your drain to make sure that your pipe is cleaned out.

  • Call A Plumber

When all of this still doesn’t work, then it’s time to throw the towel. Call your local plumber to deal with your blocked shower drain. Professional plumbers will know how to unblock shower drains more than you. Call Plumbingforce, and we can send local plumbers to your house on the same day of your call!

How You Can Get the Best Plumbing: London and Surrounding Areas

Plumbing repair service

Having a functional plumbing system is an important part of your home life. When poorly maintained, you may have to deal with weak water pressure, pipe leaks, and blockages until you have the whole system gutted and redone. It is an expensive problem that can set you back thousands of pounds and ruin a lot of your furniture. A house flood can even exponentially decrease your house’s market value.

Thankfully, this isn’t a problem for most homes in the UK. The only thing you need to do to get the best plumbing system is to find a decent plumber. Regular maintenance, same day repair, new installations–your local plumber must be someone who can weather the leaks and blockages with you all-year-round. 

I Need A Plumber

As a homeowner, you need to be able to take care of small repairs around the house to keep it in tip-top shape. You cannot depend on annual visits alone for proper maintenance. If you aren’t familiar with the common repairs you can do around the house you can read more about it in Plumbingforce’s other blogs for toilet blockages, toilet repairs, shower leaks, water leaks, and water pressure problems. You can call a local plumber for all these concerns, but before you run to Google search “plumbers near me,” you can try your hand at it. 

DIY fixes have their own limitations. You cannot try to do pipework and gas work on your own for safety reasons, and even the most simple problems may require a professional plumber. You need to be able to look at an issue and decide whether you need to call a plumbing company or not. 

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How You Can Get The Best Plumbing In London

If you want the best plumbing in London, residents need to find the right person for the job. Most people settle for plumbers who have been working with the family for years. However, in a city like London, where people often come and go, it can be very tricky. Just when you think you found the right plumber for the job, they may relocate, and you have to start the process all over again. 

Besides learning the ropes of caring for your plumbing system and finding the right plumber, you also have to consider how the different parts of your home interact since it may indirectly affect your system. 

Plumber vs Heating Engineer

Heating and plumbing work side by side, so when there are issues left uncheck, you can damage more than one system. If you are having trouble with hot water–is it a heating or plumbing problem? It can be hard to tell since they tend to overlap. You need to learn how to identify which problem goes to which person. Are you going to call heating engineers or plumbers in London?

Another example of why it is important to work closely with a heating company is your boiler. Your boiler heats water and distributes it for the rest of the house. Some of the hot water goes to your central heating system like your radiators, while others go to the hot water tank and your taps. 

When you have a broken boiler, the water pressure changes, and this may lead to inefficient heating and weak water flow. When left by itself, it can lead to corrosion in your pipes–both heating and plumbing. You are dealing with an expensive energy and water bill on top of pipe repairs and a boiler replacement. See? When you consider the final results, boiler repair becomes a top priority if you don’t want to ruin your plumbing system. 

You can work with a separate heating company, but why go through the trouble of keeping in contact with different people? Instead of scheduling one day for Gas Safe heating engineers and another for plumbers in London, why don’t you address both of them at the same time? Plumbingforce covers both plumbing/heating services so customers can tick off both tasks without too much trouble. 

How To Find Plumbers In London

In a densely populated city like London, customers have to navigate the different plumbing companies. Competition is fierce, and you can take your pick of freelance plumbers to nationwide services. Instead of settling on a company from a brief ad, here are steps you can take to find the best plumbers in London: 

Select A Well-Known Company

While you can find the best people in the most unlikely places, there is always a bit of trial and error before you find the right plumber. The safest route is working with a well-known company. Companies have a thorough vetting process to make sure that, at the bare minimum, your plumber knows what to do. They usually have tests and workshops to keep their employees up to date. Customers can turn to them for consistent service. 

Besides, if you are unhappy with their work, you can easily hold a company accountable while a freelance plumber would be extremely difficult. After all, the stakes are high for these businesses since they have a reputation to uphold. 

Check Their Coverage Area

A plumber near me is a major criterion when you are looking for plumbers in London. While the city has excellent transportation links, most plumbing services drive themselves over. Since it is a home service, you want to make sure they can easily get to your street. 

Navigating through London, will all its twists and turns, can be quite tricky. This, paired with London’s traffic, can end up wasting a lot of your time. It’s best to get a locally-based plumber who is already familiar with the area.

Look For Convenient Services

The best plumbing services often go the extra mile to keep customers satisfied. If you want the best plumbing system, you need to avoid plumbers who settle for the bare minimum. The extra mile may vary. They could try to have affordable rates to be accessible or expand their working hours to accommodate emergencies. Get the best value for your money and check their website:

  1. What kind of plumbing jobs do they do?
  2. Do they offer free quotes?
  3. What are their additional services?
  4. Do they have a 24-hour service?
  5. Do they have deals and discounts?

Think about it, if you have odd working hours, a 24-hour plumbing/heating service can take care of your problem without destroying your schedule. With London running on around the clock, it is always best to look for companies that have your convenience in mind. 

Plumbingforce offers a same day service so you can get an emergency plumber over as soon as possible, usually within the 3 hours from your call. And these conditions apply to both our heating and plumbing services, so you never have to go a day without decent hot water. 

Compare Their Quotes

Before you book a plumbing company, ask for a price estimate. Submit a detailed account of your plumbing issues so they can give you an accurate estimate. Do this with several companies and see which one offers the best deal.

When they finish the plumbing job, check the gap between the initial quote and the final bill. They don’t have to be exact, but the difference shouldn’t be too big either. If there is a drastic change in the cost, ask for a breakdown. With an itemised bill, you can better assess if the service is worth the rate you paid or not.

Read Customers Reviews

Once you have a list of companies, you can narrow them down further by reading the customer reviews and the company response time. Ultimately, hiring a plumber is an act of trust. You need to trust that they will get the job done as quickly as possible, without sacrificing quality.

You need to trust that they have fair rates. You need to be able to trust a stranger with entering your home. This is why word of mouth is powerful. When your family and friends recommend a service, you magically have the answer to all these questions. 

While it is best to work off the recommendation of family and friends, it isn’t always possible. If you live in a new city alone or have unique circumstances, other customer reviews might be more helpful. Besides reading the glowing 5-star reviews, pay close attention to the poor ones as well they can provide valuable insight. 

Here is a short guide for weeding out the relevant information from these reviews. First set your expectations. Plumbers have different approaches to their work. You need to know what you want before committing to a service. The second is identifying whether they are an excellent service or not. Avoid the short one-liners and go straight to the long reviews so you can make an informed decision:

  1. How was their plumbing/heating service?
  2. Did they conduct themselves in a professional manner?
  3. Were there issues with the fee?
  4. Did you experience things that might overshadow their service?

There are so many kinds of plumbers within one company. So every time you need something fixed, you can slowly narrow them down until you find the one that best suits you.

Find Plumbers In London

Having excellent plumbing in London may not seem like a big deal now but wait when you realise how troublesome a bad plumingsystem can be. Imagine using a clogged toilet that may flood at any moment or getting ice-cold water from the taps in the middle of winter–it isn’t a pleasant experience. A well-maintained system ensures that this does not happen to you. With these 5 steps, you are sure to find the best plumbers in London. When you find a plumber you like, make sure you get their name and develop a long-term working relationship.

If you are looking for honest and reliable plumbing service in London, contact Plumbingforce at 0330 173 4952 or book us online! We can handle any kind of plumbing and heating problem for you with our professional plumbers and Gas Safe engineers!

How To Remove A Toilet

how to remove a toilet

The bathroom is one of, if not the, most essential parts of a house. In fact, it is the most irreplaceable section. Think about it. Many households can live without a kitchen. Living in a studio flat means no living room. Backyard? Only the rich could afford that. A house can even be considered a home even with just a pseudo-bedroom (aka sleeping on the couch). 

But a house with no bathroom? Definitely a deal-breaker. In reality, it is a non-negotiable part of the house. The bathroom, in a way, is the most intimate part of the house. So what exactly happens when your toilet malfunctions? 

Pandemonium, of course! (Read: 4 Common Toilet Problems here!)

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If your toilet is continuously malfunctioning, then it may be high time for you to invest in a replacement that will work correctly. Remove the old and welcome the new and all that. Of course, the best way is to call professional plumbers with an emergency same-day response like Plumbingforce. However, if you want to experience fitting a toilet from the very beginning, read ahead. We have listed down the steps on how to remove an old toilet.

You Will Need:

  • Sponges
  • Buckets
  • Soap
  • Toilet Brush
  • Wire Brush
  • Slip-Joint Pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Utility Knife
  • Gloves
  • Replacement toilet valve and bolts (optional)

How To Remove A Toilet: 8 Easy Steps

Shut Off Water

Before you remove the toilet, the first thing that you do is to shut off the water supply. After all, you don’t want to flood not only your bathroom but your entire house unnecessarily, do you? The supply pipe of your toilet is located below the toilet tank. Turn it off before you do anything.

Have you replaced your toilet valve recently? If it’s the same age as your toilet, it’s ideal that it also joins the old toilet in the disposal bin. As something connecting a toilet to the main water supply, you wouldn’t want that to be corroded or rusty. Even if it may seem like in good condition right now, but it is only a matter of time when you need to remove it as well. Get ahead of the curve and replace it before you start fitting a new toilet.

Clean Your Toilet

Give your old toilet the proper send-off that it deserves after it served you for countless years. Bust out the gloves, soap, toilet brush, and sponges one more time. Show your toilet some love and scrub it clean for old times’ sakes. Do one pass with a toilet cleaner and leave it in the bowl for a while before you flush the toilet. This would also make disposing of your toilet bowl much easier and, of course, more sanitary.

Empty The Toilet

Once your toilet is clean, drain all of the water from your toilet bowl and tank. Flush the toilet several times until all the water is out. With your supply valve disconnected, the water won’t be refilled. Even if you’ve cleaned it out, it’s always best to use rubber gloves for this step.

Remove The Water Supply Tube

Once your toilet is empty, disconnect the water supply tube from your toilet tank. Take a slip-joint plier or an adjustable wrench and unscrew the mounting nuts and bolts. You can find the tailpiece on the water inlet valve which is on the bottom left side of the tank. Remove the pipe from the water tank. There will be some water left, so be prepared with a towel to catch any remaining drops if you don’t want your bathroom floor to get wet.

Disconnect All The Nuts and Bolts

Disconnect the plastic bolts that cover the base of the toilet bowl. You can use your hand or a flathead screwdriver to take out these floor bolts. Afterwards, use your slip-joint pliers to disconnect all the nuts and washers from the toilet floor.

Disconnect The Water Tank From The Bowl

This is an optional task, but we recommend you do it because when you remove your water tank, it makes it easier for you to pull out the plumbing of a toilet. It also lessens the bulk of what you have to carry out of your bathroom afterwards.

Using your slip-joint pliers or adjustable wrench, start unfastening the nuts under your water tank. Once all the nuts have been removed carefully pull your tank up and off of the bowl to remove it. Again, be prepared for any water that may have been left.

Cut Through the Caulking

Exercise caution when using a knife!

Take out your utility or putty knife and cut through the caulking connecting the base of the toilet bowl to the floor. Make sure that you are cutting caulking and not just scratching your flooring. Once you’ve cut the caulk, wiggle your toilet from side to side to set it free. 

Pull The Toilet Up

You might want to have a helper with this next step. 

Have the toilet bowl between you and your helper and slowly lift it. Don’t do it abruptly as you might crack the porcelain. Now you know how to remove a toilet. The next step is just to clean up and prepare your bathroom to fit a new toilet.

Take a wire brush and start cleaning the toilet flange. It is responsible for connecting your toilet to the sewage system. Your toilet flange is usually surrounded by an old wax ring to seal your toilet. When you are going to fit a toilet, you need this out of the way. You can use a putty knife or an old paint scraper to take it out. After you get the main chunks of wax, you can use a wire brush for the stubborn pieces stuck to your toilet flange.

When everything is cleaned, you are finished! You are officially ready for a new toilet!

So, do you think you are up to the job? You know how to remove a toilet theoretically. Of course, the actual process can present many more problems. Countless factors will affect the amount of time you spend removing your toilet by yourself. Usually, this entire process would take a professional plumber less than half an hour to finish. However, it might take you an hour to even half the day!

If you think it is difficult to remove an old toilet, it is also difficult to fit a new one as well. If you get one step wrong like having loose floor bolts or a weak seal, it isn’t a pretty picture. Ease the burden off your back and just call Plumbingforce. We have locally based plumbers all over the UK, allowing us to send you a Gas Safe registered plumber on the same day that you call. Call us now at 0330 162 2549 to know more about our services or send your queries on our website and leave an email address!

Most Common Types of Taps

plumbing taps

The tap is definitely one of those things we take for granted around the house. I mean it’s just a regular fixture. What kind of impact can your taps create? But can you imagine just how difficult your life would be if your home had no taps? Or if your home had tap types that are difficult to use? Also, consider what it would be like if your valves are malfunctioning. While it may seem like such a small feature in your home, how long can you live with broken faucets? 

Homeowners only understand the importance of taps in their lives when it’s already broken. When poorly selected, you might end up needing assistance for the smallest of tasks. And when left unmaintained, your tap will rust, crack, corrode, and get blocked. You must be able to distinguish the different types of tap and maintain them along with your pipes and other plumbing fixtures.

The type of taps that you choose will also affect two aspects of your home life: your water bill and your house’s overall aesthetic. Unbeknownst to many, there are different types of taps, each with their pros and cons. These types of taps will also affect the water pressure and amount of water it lets out. An improperly fitted tap will inflate your water bill.

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Another reason why you should be well-informed of the many different types of taps is because of the aesthetics. A bath filler tap, for example, will look entirely out of place if you fit it in your kitchen sink. On the other hand, a sleek Ball Tap will round out your kitchen sink and improve its overall look. There are certain styles and models that suit taps in different kinds of rooms.

You don’t need to be an interior designer to know just how important it is that the entire room works well together. Here we have listed down some of the most common types of taps and other facts that you should know about them. 

What Are The Common Types of Tap?

Pillar Tap

The most traditional style of tap is the Pillar Tap. Pillar taps are often called the “hot and cold” style simply because it is composed of two separate valves. It is one of the most versatile and standard taps with one tap giving out cold water while the other pouring in hot.

Pillar taps offer a classic look that suits traditional homes. Besides being a mainstay in old houses, pillar taps also work well in homes that have low water pressure. If your pressure problems come from the main water line, pillar taps are definitely the way to go.

Mixer Tap

The next on the list is the mixer tap. Mixer taps are gaining popularity and can be seen in most modern or newly-renovated homes all across the UK. The mixer tap is precisely what the name says. It mixes, in a sense. Mixer taps have two pipes and handles, one is for hot water while the other is for cold. The difference, however, between the pillar tap and the mixer tap is that there is only one nozzle for the water. The best thing about the mixer taps is that your sink won’t have two faucets sticking out of it, creating a sleek, minimalist look.

Monobloc Tap

The monobloc tap can be classified as a subtype of the mixer tap. The hot and cold water is mixed inside the pipes. However, unlike the mixer tap with two protruding flutes, for cold and hot water respectively, the monobloc tap only has one tube and one handle. You can then toggle the handle to adjust the temperature. You pull up to release water, left to increase the heat, and slide to the right to lower the heat.

Like the mixer tap, you can find the monobloc tap in most modern homes. If a tap with two handles is considered sleek, imagine what they would call taps with only one handle. These types of taps are not only popular for their look and function, but also their compactness as well. You can find monobloc taps in most small flats and apartments.

Ball Tap

The ball tap is essentially a subclassification of the monobloc tap. A ball tap is a monobloc tap but with a round shape. A hollow ball connects to the handle. This ball is what controls the temperature of the water. 

A ball tap is well-known for its ease of use. Just slide to the left, and you’ve got hot water, slide to the right, and you have cold water. However, one common complaint that we receive is that after extended use, ball taps leak due to some parts loosening.

Bath Filler Tap

Bath filler taps are another subtype of mixer taps. It’s the same mechanics: having two pipes and handles which controls the flow and temperature of your water. The handles make it easy for the user to adjust the heat and find the ideal temperature for baths. As the name implies, bath filler taps are for bathtubs. They either come out of the tap holes on the bath itself, or they can be wall-mounted if you have a freestanding tub. Since their primary use is to fill up the bath with as much water as possible, they tend to be pretty strong.

Floor Mounted Tap

Derived from the bath filler tap, floor-mounted taps do not hide any pipes or plumbing. Instead, they are exposed and can be seen protruding from the floor. Floor-mounted taps are often associated with vintage bathrooms with cast iron tubs coated in porcelain and copper pipes. With floor-mounted taps, homeowners have the option to place their freestanding tub anywhere they like in the bathroom. Most homes that have this type of tap are either creating a vintage bath or industrial look with exposed bricks, unpainted concrete, and exposed pipework.

Wall Mounted Tap

A wall-mounted tap is essentially the same as a floor-mounted one with the only difference being its location. Wall-mounted taps stick out from the wall. This design is not limited to any one room. You can find wall-mounted taps in the kitchen, bathroom, and even outdoors. They can either be like the pillar tap with separate handles for cold and hot water or be a mixer tap where you toggle to change the heat.

Compression Washer Tap

A compression washer tap is essentially like a pillar tap but is operated with a twisting handle. The washer inside controls the amount of water that comes out. It is also a very common design that is found in traditional homes. While it has a classic look, compression washer taps, one, are not very accessible, and two, can be tricky to use if you have no grip. It can also be difficult to fix and may need the washer replaced often.

Cartridge Tap

The cartridge tap is perhaps the most advanced type of tap. Its main selling point is an internal cartridge which controls not only the release of water but also its temperature. Moving the handle left and right allows the user to control the heat. At the same time, the motion of up and down adjusts the strength of water for the cartridge tap. It uses a single lever which also makes it very accessible and easy to use.

Are All Taps Standard Size?

Yes. All new taps now follow the standard dimensions for the tap holes, making it easier for consumers to choose. However, before buying, it’s still best to check, especially if you live in an old house. If you live in a house with original fixtures, you may either have to change the plumbing system to accommodate new tap types or go to a speciality store for custom orders.

Which Water Tap Is Best For My House?

It entirely depends on your use. Talking to a professional plumber is your best course of action as they can quickly identify your plumbing needs. Take the time also to envision how your house would look like with the type of tap that you choose as it would all boil down to aesthetics. 

If you are building a new home, deciding your taps and fixtures can be very overwhelming an Even considering the different types of kitchen taps can lead you down a rabbit hole. You can go to websites like Pinterest to get a bit of inspiration. To simplify things, decide on a look and consult your plumber before making any major decisions.

How To Install Tap Myself?

If you’re unsure of how to fit your taps, it’s best to call a professional plumber. Plumbingforce can attend to your plumbing needs and concerns on the same day that you call! We also do repairs, installations, and maintenance of your boiler, plumbing, and central heating systems. 

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How to Fit a Kitchen Sink In Your New Home

kitchen sink

How to Fit a Kitchen Sink In Your New Home

Who doesn’t want to clean up after a big dinner with a spacious sink? It is one of the most practical remodel/ investments you can commit to in your new home, right next to getting plenty of worktop space. It can speed up your meal preps by washing fruit and veg all at once and help with cleanups by being able to place all your plates and utensils in it. With decent water pressure, your kitchen sink can play an integral role in a seamless cooking experience. Read more about how to deal with low water pressure here. 

There are several things you have to pay attention to when fitting a new kitchen sink: the size, depth, shape, material, and colour. If you want to keep the project on a tight budget, it is best to work with what you already have like getting something in a similar size or shape with the cut-out on your worktop. Before you replace the kitchen sink, it is best to learn about the process. Plumbingforce has a step-by-step guide and FAQs below: 

Can You Install A Sink Yourself?

Installing your kitchen sink–taps and all–is one of the few things you can do yourself in a kitchen remodel. As long as you are using the existing pipework done by a professional plumber, it’s fairly simple. All you need to do is get the right tools and materials and get to work! 

Before you try to DIY fitting a kitchen sink, take note that there is a lot of manual labour involved. If you are new to home improvement projects, it is definitely not a one-person job, get a partner to help you. 

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If you are unsure about the quality of your instalment, you can contact Plumbingforce and have a local plumber come in and take over. With our extensive years of experience, we can guarantee you’ll have a well-fitted kitchen sink in no time. 

How Much Does It Cost To Fit A Kitchen Sink In The UK?

The final cost of replacing your kitchen sink may vary. It can depend on the model of your sink, the hourly rate of your plumber, and extra tasks like cutting the worktop for a larger sink. 

For DIY fittings, you only have to consider the material costs. There are so many different types of sinks, so this can be the most expensive part. You can take your pick from stainless steel, ceramic, porcelain, composite, stone, and many others. A rough estimate for a small, affordable, stainless steel sink is around £60, and a large, stylish, ceramic sink is around £1,500. It really depends on your personal preferences. Some tiny houses opt to use a £2 salad bowl to create their sink, while other homeowners might commission a custom design that can go beyond £1,500.

Besides a sink replacement, you will also need some plumber’s putty that retails around £7.50-£10 and caulk that retails at £7-£10. Without counting your labour, the minimum amount for DIY-ing your replacement is around £74.50.

For fitting a kitchen sink with professionals like Plumbingforce, you have to get your own sink and include the labour cost. The final bill is usually 60% towards materials and 40% towards labour. With a regular sink model, it can cost around £375 to £500. If you don’t know how to fit a kitchen sink, working with Plumbingforce can take away the stress and hassle of learning on the job. 

Weigh the pros and cons of each before selecting your process. While hiring a professional plumber cost more than DIY, it takes away the inconvenience of doing the work yourself. You can also rest assured that your kitchen sink will be installed properly on the first try. 

Step-By-Step Guide For Fitting A New Sink

If you are up to doing the task on your own, here is a step-by-step guide for how to fit a kitchen sink: 

Prepare Your Materials

Regardless of what kind of sink you have, top-mount, under-mount, or flush-mount, you’ll need the same materials to replace a kitchen sink:

  • Bucket
  • Towel and rags
  • Eye protection
  • Adjustable spanner/wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife/ box cutter
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Caulk/ Silicone sealant
  • Sink
  • Sink fixtures 

If you have an under-mount, you’ll need to add a long piece of wood that spans the entire sink, a couple of clamps, and a level. You’ll need these items to help support your sink while you work below it. 

Find A Sink Replacement

When you are looking for a new sink, you’ll need to try to get one in a similar shape and size, so you don’t have to replace or adjust your kitchen worktop to get a perfect fit. Get a tape measure and take down the rough dimensions before shopping. When you are looking for a replacement, try to get a new one that is well-designed and practical.  

Remove The Old Sink

Start your replacement by removing your old sink. For specific models, you may need to get an extra pair of hands since ceramic, porcelain, stone, and composite sinks are quite heavy, and it can be dangerous to do it on your own. If you have an under-mount sink, you need to get family or friends to help.

Disconnect The Water and Electricity

If you have a dishwasher or garbage disposal, unplug them to avoid accidents. You can then take your adjustable spanner and disconnect your water supply under the sink. To make sure that there is no more water, turn on your taps, both hot and cold, and wait for the water to drain completely. 

Remove The Drain Pipe 

Use your adjustable spanner or vice grip to remove the drain pipe. Keep a bucket underneath the pipe and lay down a couple of towels to collect excess water. 

Cut Through The Caulk

Use your utility knife or a box cutter and cut through the caulk that seals your sink. If you have a top-mount sink, run your knife around the edges and make sure you don’t damage your worktop. If you have an under-mount sink, put on your protective eye gear and a mask and work on removing the caulk on the underside. Be careful as you might scratch your sink.

Detach The Screws Under The Sink

To completely detach your sink from your worktop, use your screwdriver and take out the remaining screws or clips. If you have a top-mount sink, you can do this alone. However, with under-mount sinks, the unit might fall on you while you take out the screws. It’s best to have an assistant for this type of work.

When you take out the sink, place it in a safe area. If you have a stainless steel model, you can place them on your worktop, but for heavy units, it might be best to settle them on the floor.

Clean Up Any Excess From Your Worktop

After you carefully take out your old sink and set it aside, it is time to clean your worktop. You may have bits of caulk sticking out here and there. You can take them out with a paint scraper or a utility knife. Then wipe it down with a damp scouring pad to make sure you get all the bits and pieces.

Test The Fit Of Your New Sink

Before you commit to your new sink, test it out first and see if it fits. If you want to install a larger sink, hire trade workers to come and cut your worktop down to size so your new sink can snugly fit on your kitchen worktop.

Install Your Taps and Sink Fixtures

Follow the sink’s manufacturer’s instructions and install your taps and sink drainer. Add a little bit of plumber’s putty with your drain strainer to ensure that it is a tight fit. You don’t want that to leak in the long run. Even a microleak can transform into a huge problem like a house flood.

Seal It With Caulk

After you have your kitchen sink in order, add a bit of caulk/silicone sealant and leave it to dry. Sealing your sink with caulk may vary depending on your model. For top-mount and flush-mount sinks, turn your sink upside down and apply your sealant on the underside then lower it to your kitchen worktop. 

For under-mount sinks, add caulk on the top perimeter, and push it from under the worktop. To get the best seal, you can use your clamps and use it to secure your sink as the caulk dries. 

Attach The Clips

Attach or screw on the additional clips to keep your sink in place. Make sure they are nice and tight to keep it secure. If your old screws and clips are rusty, replace them to ensure the best results.

Reinstall The Rest 

When your new sink is in place, it is time to get the other features in order. Connect your taps to your water supply line, your hot and cold water lines correctly correspond with their taps. Add your garbage disposal and dishwasher lines if you have them and work with your manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.

Use your adjustable spanner to secure your drain pipe. Make sure everything is nice and tight before testing your new sink. Learn how to avoid leaky taps here.

When Should You Call A Professional Plumber?

When you carefully follow the step-by-step guide, you successfully know how to fit a kitchen sink by yourself. However, when it comes to plumbing, the kitchen sink can be tricky. You don’t want to mess with the water supply and make mistakes that might warrant a new system.

When you are experiencing leaks, there are too many possible sources, so it is best to call Plumbingforce and hire a professional plumber. A drip here and there may seem like a small thing when compared to the small win of completing your first DIY kitchen project, but leaks are no joke. It can lead to water damage down the line and become a costly problem to fix. 

If you want to guarantee the best fit for your kitchen sink, call Plumbingforce at 0330 173 5321 or book us online to get a local plumber!

Common Causes of Low Water Pressure And How To Fix Them

low water pressure

Nothing can beat the feeling of a nice refreshing shower after a long day. The best showers have decent water pressure and a comfortable temperature along with your favourite scent. But can you imagine what it would be like to deal with a weak trickle of water for your shower? It’s sad and honestly quite frustrating.

Low water pressure does not just affect showers. It can happen to any part of your house from your kitchen tap to your flushing toilet. While you can learn about these things before moving in, there are ways you can lose strength over time. Let’s tackle the common causes of low water pressure and see how you can troubleshoot it in your home. 

Why Do I Suddenly Have Low Water Pressure?

If you don’t typically experience low water pressure, there are several possible reasons. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Was there water work recently done around my neighbourhood or my city?
  2. Did I get repair work recently done? Did it affect my water? 
  3. What kind of water do I have in my area? Is there white limescale around my shower and faucet?
  4. Is there any climate-related news that might affect my water?
  5. Am I competing with other people for my water supply?

These 5 questions cover the most common reasons for water pressure suddenly decreasing. Let’s go through each one and learn how these things can affect you. Since water pressure in homes ties closely to supply, any changes in your outside environment like droughts, multiple tenants, and “peak” hours for water usage can also decrease your pressure. 

Your home maintenance can also affect your pressure. Moving the water valves, corrosion in the pipes or scale build-up can all contribute to weak pressure. The first dictates how much water enters you home and the last two are blockages that prevent the water from reaching you. 

These things happen, and fortunately for you, this problem does not have to be permanent. With a bit of effort on your or your plumber’s part, you can go back to enjoying strong showers and can fill up your pots and kettle in no time. 

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Common Causes For Low Water Pressure

The common causes of low water pressure are the lack of water supply, poor pumping facilities, plumbing problems, and small water mains. Sometimes even with proper maintenance, you have to adjust to changes in your surroundings. You may have to reroute your water system or something similar, but these changes rarely happen. 

How Do I Know If I Have Low Water Pressure?

The most obvious way to know is if you feel a shift in how you go about your home. Is the shower weak? Does it take longer to fill up your kettle? Pay attention to these small things. 

If you are new to a neighbourhood or home and the pressure is weaker than what you are used to, you need to test it. Pressure varies on location and water system in the house. You can buy a water pressure gauge from the hardware store and test the strength inside your home. 

If you do not want to use a water pressure gauge, try filling up a bucket. Turn the water on fully and time how long it takes. If it goes way beyond 30 seconds, you have low pressure. Water flow is a strong indicator of the pressure in your home. 

What if your hot water is weak, but your cold water is strong? The pressure problem is internal. It lies in your heating system. Cold water usually comes from the water main, while the hot water comes from the cylinder you have at home. You can fix this by adjusting your boiler settings or cycling the water through your system. You can read more how to check the pressure of your boiler here

How Do I Fix Low Water Pressure In My House?

These common causes of these problems are not impossible to handle. You can take care of them yourself with a little bit of know-how. However, whenever you are in doubt, do not hesitate to call a professional. Plumingforce can help you with plumbing-related blockages or major pipework. Here are steps you can take to inspect the reason for your pressure problem and how you can deal with it: 

Check The News

Look for water-related incidents online and see if they affect you. Any kind of water line repair, pipe replacement, or maintenance could make the water supply weak in your area. If your problem is because of this, there is little to nothing you can do until they finish. 

If you still experience pressure issues after their repair, contact your local water company and ask if the low pressure is a long-term problem. When they tell you it is, you can invest in a better pump for your system.

Check Your Water Valves

There are two valves you should keep an eye on, the main water meter valve and the main house shutoff valve. Both of these valves should be fully open. The water meter valve is the water company’s responsibility. People rarely touch them because this is how the water from the supply pipe enters your home. The supply pipe is usually outside of your house. Go out and see if they are fully open. 

How do you know if it is fully open? Check the handle. If it is open properly, the handle should be parallel to the water pipe. When it is not in the right position, you can get a plumber to do it or use an adjustable spanner and adjust it. 

No problems with your water meter valve? Try the main house shutoff valve. It should be completely open as well. You can find this around the basement. Unlike the water meter valve, this could change more often. If you need to cut off your main water supply for repairs around the house, this is where it happens. Check to make sure it is fully open. If it isn’t, adjust it accordingly.

Check Your Pressure Regulator/ Pressure Reducing Valve

The pressure reducing valve (PRV) should solve water pressure problems, but can also be a source of them. PRV is for areas that have high pressure in water. If the force is too strong, it can damage your pipes and central heating system. When the PRV does not work, it can prevent your water flow. Contact your local plumbers at Plumbingforce and replace your PRV to go back to business as usual. 

Check For Blockages

Now, when you only experience issues in some regions of your house, it might not be a pressure problem at all. Try to check all sources of water. Is it slower in the kitchen tap versus the faucet in the guest bedroom? If the answer is yes, you have scale build-up. 

Limescale is common in hard water. The type of water you receive depends on your location. You can ask your water company about the kind of water or test it yourself. Hard water is not necessarily bad, but they come with their challenges. Scale build-up can happen to any item or appliance that uses water regularly. You can install a scale inhibitor as it enters your home. They add small doses to reduce the limescale in your system.

Blockages are not limited to scale. If every faucet has the same problem, it could be the corrosion of your pipes. Old homes tend to have untreated pipes, and rust can develop. By the time you notice this problem, it is probably too late. You need to redo the plumbing inside your home. If you see rusty valves in your radiator, you can try to add a magnetic filter, but that cannot take back the existing damage. 

Check For Leaks And Similar Plumbing Damage

Go around your house and see if there are leaks or plumbing problems. There could be water damage behind large furniture or boxes. A pipe leak can happen anywhere. So how does a leak affect the water in your faucet? A leak means less water, therefore weaker pressure. 

Pipes are one of the things you cannot correctly repair leaks on your own. Cut off the water flow by turning the main house shutoff valves. Make sure to get a professional plumber to inspect and repair the busted pipe or pipes. If the problem comes from the water main, call your water company instead. Learn more about preventing water leaks here

What Can You Do To Prevent Low Pressure?

You do not have to experience low pressure to create a system that prevents it. You can avoid water pressure by adequately maintaining your system. Annual maintenance can go a long way with your pipes. You can also include the limescale remover and magnetic filter just to be sure. When your pipes are clean, and the pressure is adjusted correctly, you should have no problems with low water pressure. 

Is Low Water Pressure Dangerous?

Low water pressure is nowhere near as dangerous as high water pressure. The effects might not be as visible either. However, that does not mean low water pressure is not harmful. Both water pressure, low and high, settings are bad. However, low pressure is harder to live with. Your daily routine can take longer than necessary. It prevents you from doing other things.

If you leave it alone, you can increase the damages in your system. It could also destroy the household appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and even your heating system. As much as possible, try to create a proper workaround for it. 

Hopefully, this list can help you tackle low water pressure problems. Since every home is different, there is a bit of trial and error before you figure out what is really wrong. When you do not have the time to go through all the possibilities, our plumbers are here to help. We have same-service for emergency problems, get rid of low pressure in your home today!

Fixing Radiator Leaks: A Guide

radiator leaks

Conducting some DIY plumbing repairs within your home is a milestone every homeowner has to face. Whether it be unclogging a drain, fixing a dripping tap, or repairing a radiator leak, there will come a time in your life that you will have to get your hands dirty yourself. However, none of these tasks is easy enough to do without some kind of guidance. 

Fixing radiator leak, in particular, will require you to thoroughly read, watch, and understand numerous guides for you to be able to pull it off smoothly and without a hitch. To save you the trouble of having to go back and forth between numerous sites, we’ve prepared a short guide on what you can and should do when your radiator is leaking. 

So, You Think Radiator Is Leaking?

Is there a puddle near your radiator or a wet patch on the carpet beneath it? If so, then it’s probably leaking.  You don’t have to worry, though. Leaking radiators are a pretty normal occurrence. No need to panic and call for a radiator repair or boiler repair service immediately. Chances are, this is something you can resolve all on your own. 

To be able to stop a radiator leak from occurring, the first thing you need to do is identify where the leak is coming from. You may do this by first patting the radiator dry using an old rag or a traditional towel. Once you have patted it dry, run a kitchen towel or paper napkin all over the radiator and if you encounter moisture in any area around the radiator, then that is probably where the leak is. Remember, if the radiator is hot, make sure to keep your hands and arms protected while conducting this step. 

Is A Leaky Radiator Dangerous?

A leaky radiator is not dangerous all on its own. However, leaving it unchecked for long periods of time can lead to water damage on your furniture, flooring and eventually, the structural integrity of your home. Water damage may also cause moulds to form, which in turn, will pose many health risks for you and your family. 

Moreover, leaking radiators may also cause your central heating systems to stop working due to loss of boiler pressure. While this shouldn’t be a huge problem, heat could be a matter of life and death during winter. 

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What Can Cause A Radiator Leak?

There are many possible reasons as to what could be the source of the leak and why your radiator could be leaking. Here are some of the most common reasons:

A Leaky Radiator Valve

Out of the three things on this list, this is the most common culprit to leaky radiators. This is usually due to the wear and tear of your radiator’s internal workings. As the valve loosens, it will start to become less watertight, thus leading to a water leak. 

Half-open radiator valves may also cause this leak If this is the case, all you have to do is tighten the valve or turn the valve to the off position.

A Loose or Damaged Spindle 

Radiator spindles are joints that connect the radiator valve to the main body of the radiator. When it is loose or damaged, water will naturally leak out. 

Rust and Corrosion

You may also be having a radiator leak due to corrosion and rust. Over time, the insides of your radiator will develop corrosion due to its constant contact water and sometimes the lack of chemical inhibitors, which is a liquid added to the water in your central heating system in order to prevent the development of rust and corrosion. 

When corrosion develops inside your radiator, chances are, small holes will form underneath your radiator. When this happens, you will start seeing brownish puddles of water on the floor beneath it.

How Do I Fix A Radiator Leak?

Now that you’ve identified the most common causes of a radiator leak, you may begin making the repairs on your radiator. This guide will be divided into three parts depending on the type of leak as mentioned above. Before you begin, make sure your radiator is turned off and that you have towels and buckets ready nearby to prevent and clean up any messes that may occur. 

Fixing A Radiator With A Leaky Radiator Valve

Step 1: Drain your radiator system to below the location of the leak. 

Step 2: Turn off the supply valve where the water enters from, and the lockshield valve (the plastic capped valve). Be sure to remember how many times you turned the lockshield valve. 

Step 3: Undo the union nut with an adjustable spanner. Be ready to catch water when water drips from your radiator. 

Step 4: Open the bleed valve and let your radiator bleed

Step 5: Wrap your valve tails with PTFE tape. 

Step 6: Replace the union nut. Turn on the lockshield and supply valves. Be sure to turn the lockshield valve as many times as you did when you turned it off. 

Step 7: Close the bleed valve and check if leaks still persist.

If the situation requires you to replace your radiator valve, make sure to know exactly what kind of valve you will be needing before purchasing one. The size and fit of the valve to the radiator are very crucial to prevent further leaks from occurring. 

Once you’ve found the right valve, drain all the water from your central heating system. Unscrew the nuts connected to the water pipe as well as the valve you intend on replacing. Clean the threads at the end of the radiator before installing a new valve.

Wrap the threads with PTFE tape before attaching the new valve. Once attached, bleed your radiator and then refill the system. 

Fixing A Radiator With Loose or Damaged Spindles

If your radiator is leaking from the spindle, you may easily remedy this by tightening the gland nuts. If the leaks persist, undo the nut, add some PTFE tape around the spindle before re-tightening the nut. This should prevent any more leaks occurring. 

If the leaks continue, you would need to either replace the valve or call on a plumber to assess the damage for you. 

Fixing A Radiator With Rust and Corrosion

There is no fix for a corroding radiator, as rust and corrosion are both irreversible. If there has been too much damage by corrosion and rust, the only thing you can do is replace your radiator. 

How Do I Prevent My Radiator For Leaking In Again In The Future?

There are quite a few ways to prevent your radiator from leaking again in the future. One would be conducting regular checks on your radiator. Also, be on the lookout for unexplainable moisture or puddles on and around your radiator before the problem gets worse. 

You may also want to regularly drain your radiator to prevent the sludge from rusting away your radiator. Meanwhile, to avoid corrosion, use a chemical inhibitor, which is a liquid compound added into the water. 

If you don’t think you are confident in doing the repairs on your own, or if none of the methods above seems to work in fixing your radiator, it is best to call for the help of a professional plumber as soon as possible. 

Addressing, Identifying and Preventing Water Leaks

fixing water leaks

The sounds “drip, drip, drip” has always been a dreadful sound for property owners, homeowners and renters alike. That is because aside from it an annoying sound that can keep you up all night, it is also the sound of your money quite literally going down the drain. 

Water leaks, unfortunately, are very common in households all over the world. A fact that the Association of British Insurers confirmed when they disclosed that one in every four building and content insurance claims are for “release of water” cases, which basically insurance-speak for leaky pipes or burst pipes. 

Sometimes, it makes itself known with persistent dripping sounds, some moisture here, or even a puddle there. However, more often than we realize, water leaks like these sneak up on us and only makes itself known with a flood in our kitchen or a ceiling that gave in after a pipe burst.  

Either way, though, such leaks are an extreme inconvenience that we must all, at one point, face. What you can do, though, is take the steps to help minimize the damage that a water leak may cause on your home and your wallet. 

And so, to save you the headache (and the heartache) of having to worry about spending lots of money on house and plumbing repairs, as well as an expensive meter reading, we’ve come up with a comprehensive guide to help you take on the challenge of a water leak in your new home.

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What Happens When You Have A Leak In Your Home?

Leaks in your home should be a cause of alarm for a multitude of reasons. Paying your bill which is alarmingly and significantly higher than your usual water bill is only the beginning of your issues.

Aside from expensive water bills, water leaks can be the beginning of many problems in your home. For example, unchecked water leaks can cause tons of physical damage to your home. You may also encounter damaged furniture and appliances due to the moisture, or worse, flooding caused by the leak. If the leak is subtle, undetected, and unchecked for months, it can affect more than just the visible parts of your home but compromise its structural integrity as well. Property managers, from all over the world, agree that a house flood can exponentially decrease the value of a house when you try to sell it. Potential buyers are easily turned off from a property if they find out that it has experienced a flood. This is because the damage seeps through the floorboards and opens up a lot of unfortunate possibilities such as mould growth.

Moreover, such water leaks may also have the potential to ruin your home’s market value forever. This is because while you may have been able to “fix” the leak, its effects will remain. Lastly, such leaks can and will cause mould and fungal growth if not properly addressed. This, in turn, may pose a handful of health risks for you and the rest of your household.  Humans exposed to mould may experience nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, coughing and sneezing fits, and a compromised immune system. Furthermore, mould can eventually grow within them, thus opening them up to worse health complications. Meanwhile, infants exposed to mould develop an increased likelihood of developing asthma.

Aside from the hazards stated above, sewage leaks are also toxic to humans and pets. 

Signs There Is A Leak In Your Home

Stopping or fixing a leak, however, is only possible when you know that there is a leak in the first place. Here are some telltale signs for a leak that you should be on the lookout for:

Cracks On Your Walls

Leaks, no matter how minimal, may have an effect on the foundation of your home and compromise its structure. When leaks persist and affect the same spot on the ground underneath your home, it may eventually cause your house to shift ever so slightly. While you may not feel this happen, it will cause some stress on your walls. 

The Sound of Running Water

Make sure you’re not hearing the sound of any faucet, shower, toilet valve or spigot running. Once everything is shut off, check your water meter reading. Do not use the water for a few hours, and then check your water meter reading again. If you see a change, then chances are you do have a leak in your home. 

Damp or Wet Floors

If you find unexplainable damp patches on your carpet or puddles of water on your floor, then you probably have a sewer leak. Such leaks are extremely persistent and pose a handful of health hazards for you and your family. 

Unusually Expensive Water Bill Costs

If your monthly water bill comes out more costly than usual for no explainable reason, then you are more than likely to be sporting a leak in your home. 

Foul Odours

If you’re smelling funky and couldn’t find its source, then chances are you’re smelling the mould and mildew that are slowly developing within your home. 

Where Am I Most Likely To Find A Leak In My Home?

If you think you’ve got a link, but are not entirely sure on where the source of the leak could be, then here are some areas of your home where a leak could be possibly located. 

  • Water tank
  • Toilets
  • Showerheads
  • Pipework
  • Appliances i.e. Washing Machines, Refrigerators, Radiators
  • Boilers

What Do I Do When There’s A Leak?

If you experience sewer flooding, burst pipes, or even just notice a small water leak within the boundary of your property, the very first thing you should do is turn off your water mains. This will not only help you save water which would have otherwise been wasted due to the leaks on your supply. 

Once you have done that, try to identify or locate the source of the leak. Check your appliances, supply pipes, and any water pipe you can think of. If you cannot find the source of the leak, then it is best to call in a registered or approved plumber, preferably the one who is responsible for your pipework. If this is not possible, then any emergency plumber will do. 

Do not attempt to fix leaks on your own, as this may only cause more problems for you in the long run.  

Looking Out For and Preventing Catastrophic Leaks In Your Home

While it is important for you to know when a leak is present in your home and what to do when there is one, it also wouldn’t hurt for you to be vigilant in order to stay ahead of the leak. Here are some steps you could take in order to be constantly and actively on the lookout for possible leaks within your property. 

  • Before paying your bill, dedicate some time for reading it. Understanding your bill is vital, as it helps you make sure that everything is in perfect order. You may ask your local water resources management centre to give you monthly statements based on your monthly reading in order to properly check your water usage and consumption rates. 
  • Take note of the water pressure when you use the sink or take a shower. Low pressure could also mean a leak somewhere along your water pipe. If the case is isolated to tap or showerhead, though, then it could be a small clog.
  • Monitor when your boiler or water heater comes on. If you notice it running almost constantly, then you probably have a leak somewhere along your water pipes. 
  • You may also call for a plumber to conduct routine maintenance checks on your plumbing system to ensure that there are no leaks and that everything is in perfect order. Approved plumbers may opt to check for leaks using thermal imaging and acoustic listening devices to complete the task more efficiently. 

Final Thoughts

While you do not necessarily have the option of completely preparing your home for a catastrophic water leak, there are many steps you can take to prepare yourself for it. Moreover, by taking these steps, you can help minimize the damage and costs that could result from a water leak. 

It is also important to remember that you should not attempt to fix leaks in your property yourself. Always seek out the help of a professional plumber to ensure any issues from worsening or escalating.