Improvement & repairs

On these pages we have provided you with a series of self-help and advice guides to help you with low level repairs that may occur.

Self help repair guides

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On these pages we have provided you with a series of self-help and advice guides to help you with low level repairs that may occur.

Frequently Asked Questions: Plumbing

How do I unblock sinks, drains or showers?

Blockages are a really common problem around the home and can be easily sorted out. You can usually clear a blockage using a plunger or drain cleaner.

If you live in a hard water area, it might be caused by limescale (the off-white, chalky deposit you sometimes see in kettles or pipes), so try using a descaling fluid. This should also work for blocked shower heads, which are usually caused by Limescale.

How do I unblock the toilet?

If you’re using a plunger, wear some rubber gloves and place the plunger right into the base of the toilet bowl. The fist plunge should be light, to force out any air. After this, use more force and try not to break the seal. It may take a while to unblock.

The toilet cistern is overflowing, or not filling up.
If your cistern is overflowing, it might be a problem with the ball-valve. Try tying it in the up position to stop it overflowing. This will fix it temporarily. {more advice for a permanent fix?}

If the cistern isn’t filling up, the ball valve might be stuck. Try moving it by hand to get it working again. In the meantime, if you need to flush the toilet, try pouring buckets of water down the toilet.

How do I switch off the water supply?
You can do this using the stopcock valve. Turn it clockwise to turn off the water supply, and anti-clockwise to turn it back on. The stopcock valve is usually found under the kitchen sink, or in a front or back hall.

How do I switch off the electrical supply?
You can turn off your electrical supply at the fuse box. Flip the main circuit breakers at the top (usually a pair) to OFF. To shut off the power to individual rooms or circuits, flip the branch circuit breakers.

The ceiling is bulging with water. What should I do?
Let the water out as soon as possible, to avoid the ceiling giving way. Put a bucket under the bulge and make a small hole to let the water out.

How do I check if my pipes are frozen?
Gently turn the tap on to run the water. If nothing comes out, it’s likely that they have frozen.

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