Most people only think about their plumbing in the winter when the heating goes on and problems start to occur. However, there are plenty of things you can do in the summer to stay ahead of the game and prevent serious problems from occurring in the first place.
Here are our top tips:
- If you go on holiday, turn off your water supply at the stop tap. This removes any risk of returning home to nasty surprises such as floods or leaks.
- To avoid any problems when you switch your heating back on in the winter, turn it on for 15 minutes once a month during the summer months.
- Periodically put a drain cleaner down your drains to keep everything running smoothly.
- Try not to put fats or food waste down your sink, because they can gather or solidify and cause a blockage.
- Avoid putting sanitary items or wipes down the toilet: they can block it, even if they’re supposed to be flushable.
- Sniff out the source of bad smells. If there’s a stink coming from your sinks and toilets, you may have a drain blockage. Your first step should be to clean the drain with a drain cleaner, but if that doesn’t work a plumber can investigate further.
- Overhaul your heating system to prevent sludge. Sludge can massively impact the effectiveness of your heating system. A power flush will clear it, and summer is a great (and less disruptive) time to do this. You could also get an inhibitor fitted to prevent future sludge build-up.
- Check for damp patches on your lawn or flower beds when it hasn’t been raining. These could indicate leaking pipes.
- Check your property for broken grates and drain covers. Getting these repaired will prevent things from falling in and blocking your drains.
- Do you have leaky taps? Fixing them could save a huge amount of water per week, so it’s very wise to address the problem.
- Cut the water you flush by installing a cistern displacement unit (CDD), which can cut the water used by more than half.
- Check your toilet cistern isn’t leaking. This is one of the most common causes of high water consumption. To check it out, put some food colouring into the cistern and don’t flush the toilet for an hour. If any food colouring appears in the toilet bowl, that indicates a leak.
- Make your shower less wasteful by fitting an aerator shower head. This won’t compromise pressure but will significantly cut your water consumption. Many power showers actually use as much water as a bath!
- Does your boiler sound like a kettle? This could indicate a build-up of limescale. A plumber can fix this; solutions include a powerflush, replacing the heat exchanger, and adding inhibitor to the boiler.
- If you’re concerned about your home water pressure, test it by running a tap on full into a jug for six seconds. Check the volume in litres and multiply this figure by 10 to give you your flow rate per minute. If it’s less than 10, this is considered a low flow rate.
- Have your boiler serviced in the summer rather than winter. It’s usually easier to get a plumber because they are less busy with callouts. It may be cheaper too – and less disruptive because you won’t be using the boiler.
- Add an aerator to your taps. This can cut your water use in half.
- At the end of summer, bleed your radiators so that they’re ready to be turned back on when the weather turns cold.
- Prepare for winter by lagging your outside condensate pipe. This will prevent it from freezing when the temperature drops, which can cause your boiler to break down.
- Remember to turn the water off at the stop tap when working on your plumbing – otherwise you may face a nasty flood!
Here at ADS, our trained team members are happy to answer all of your questions, offer suggestions, clarify concerns and discuss any options.