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Top Tips for Fixing the Most Common Plumbing Problems

Tip 1: Finding your Stopcock

If the worst happens and a pipe bursts you need to make sure you know exactly where your stopcock is so you can switch off the water supply as quickly as possible. Stopcocks can be located both inside and outside of properties so find out where both stopcocks are for your home. In most cases the inside stopcock is located under the sink, but it can also be next to the boiler in older properties so never take it for granted that you know where yours is.

In some cases there may be two stopcocks next to each other. This is usually because one has been left behind from another repair job. If that’s the case the old stopcock won’t work so simply try them both to ascertain the one you need.

Tip 2: Finding Outside Stopcocks

It’s a good idea to find out where your outside stopcock is no matter what, but it’s of particular importance if you can’t find a stopcock inside. Outside your house, look for a small manhole cover on the pavement. It should have the name of your water provider or ‘water meter’ written on it. Prize it up with a metal bar or old screwdriver and there should be a dial encased in plastic or polystyrene underneath. If there are several metres they could be linked to different properties so consult your buildings manager or water company before switching anything off.

Tip 3: Fixing a Non-Flushing Toilet

One of the most common reasons why a toilet won’t flush is a blocked waste pipe. This generally happens when things other than toilet paper or too much toilet paper is put down the toilet. To avoid this happening don’t flush anything other than toilet paper, especially not sanitary are or baby wipes.

If your waste pipe is blocked then a plunger should be able to fix the problem. If not then try using an auger which is a long tool which can be extended down the waste pipe to push the blockage down and clear it.

Tip 4: Fixing a Leaking Tap

If your tap is leaking first switch off your water supply and turn on the tap to release water pressure. The most common cause of a leaky tap is a blockage or worn washer so unscrew the top of your tap to gain access. Once you’ve checked there’s no debris disrupting the flow of water inside your tap, replace your old washer with a new one. To do this you may need to cut away the old rubber with a Stanley Knife.

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