The household guide to preventing plumbing disasters

Some plumbing faults are easier to fix than others. Don’t be afraid of dripping taps, clogged pipes and bunged up drains, these are just some of the plumbing disasters the average family household has to face over the course of a year.

Would you feel confident tackling a plumbing crisis?

Tackle the main causes of plumbing faults and take preventative steps to stop your pipework failing, we show you the way with this handy household guide.

What causes problems with plumbing?

  • Hair
  • Food waste
  • Poor toilet etiquette
  • Soap scum
  • Bodged DIY tasks
  • Leaking showers
  • Dripping taps

Any of these items on their own could prevent your plumbing working to the best of its abilities. A combination of a few of these factors might just lead to a total plumbing fail.

We can look at each element separately and this will ascertain how a plumbing issue could be avoided.

Tackle these culprits

1. Hair

Take a bath, spend time in the shower or wash your hair over the sink and hair particles will detach from your scalp and wash away down the sink. Over a period of time clumps of hair start to build up inside the drain. They matt together to form a temporary barrier, this prevents waste water from running away.

If bathwater runs away slowly try plucking hair from the plughole using a set of tweezers. It’s not the nicest job in the world but it could remove a sizeable ‘clump’ and let water run away.

Failing that use a plunger and see if that dislodges the blocked hair.


Plunge to new depths and free blockages

2. Food waste

Do you tip hot fat down the kitchen sink or let waste food particles drain away into the pipework? Fat has a habit of congealing. Food waste clogs together. This mix will form a temporary barrier.

To stop food waste causing a major blockage, clear plates before you wash them and pour used cooking oil into an empty tin before tossing this into the bin.

3. Flushing the wrong things down the loo

We don’t have to paint a picture of what you should be flushing down the toilet.

Unfortunately, too many households think their toilet is a kind of black hole. They are misguided into thinking whatever they flush down the loo will ‘magically’ disappear.

Sadly this isn’t the case.

Try to flush nappies, wads of cotton wool and too much toilet tissue paper down the loo and don’t be too surprised if the bowl starts to overflow when you press the flush.

4. Soap residue

Old bits of soap have this nasty habit of congealing together.  They mix with hair particles and form a greasy wall inside basins and baths.

Every once in a while, pour hot water down the drain use a spot of bleach or soda crystals to keep the pipes clear.

5. Bad DIY

Got a toilet hanging off a wall or a shower cubicle that hasn’t been sealed properly? This is a classic case of poor DIY and it accounts for more plumbing problems than any other contributing factor.

Use self-help guides, watch tutorials online or bring in the professionals if you think a home improvement task is a bridge too far. By the way, repainting the house is a good home improvement. Aside from it gives aesthetic, it can also protect woods from damage.

6. Leaking shower heads

This can be caused by letting the shower head drop against the side of the cabinet or letting it crash against the bottom of the bath.

dripping-28936__180Small cracks appear in the head allowing water to seep through. It might also be due to poor installation where the head has been cross-threaded or simply not tightened enough.

New shower heads are simple enough to fit. Just take it slowly and tighten to the right pressure.

7. Dripping taps

Taps have washers inside. When they wear this causes the tap to drip. In some instances over-tightening the tap can result in a dripping tap.

Prevent this by lightly hand-tightening the tap. Don’t turn it too far or all you’ll hear is drip… drip… drip!

Author: Gareth Whalley
Sharing my vast knowledge in the Air Conditioning and Mechanical services field especially in HVAC installation, service and maintenance across a broad range of sectors, including Healthcare, Education, Transport, Banking, Retail and Commercial developments.