Tag Archives: pipes

Don’t call the Drain Doctor

For most plumbing problems I would always recommend that you call Drain Doctor (0800 70 71 72).

But for some plumbing problems, a Drain Doctor may not be what you need. Snakes in the drains (as experienced by one Canadian in this story) may be one of those problems where a vet would be more appropriate than a plumber.

Then again, how’s the vet going to get at the snake if it is in the pipework? Maybe you need and vet and a plumber? And a first-aider standing by just in case?

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Where does the water go?

Trust Drain Doctor to solve any plumbing problems.

Continuing our series about the plumbing in your home – and how to look after it – it’s time to consider where the water goes when it gets into your home.

British homes have one of two types of cold water supply – direct and indirect. 

A direct supply means that all the cold water taps and toilets in the house are supplied with water directly from the rising main.  This is also known as a high pressure system.

With an indirect system usually only the cold water tap over the kitchen sink (and possibly the water feed to the washing machine) are attached to the rising main.  The rising main goes straight up to discharge water into the cold-water storage cistern, normally located in the roof space.  This cistern has pipes that supply water to the cold taps in the bathroom, the lavatory cisterns and the hot water system via gravity.  This is known as a low pressure system.

It has an overflow pipe to carry excess water out of the house in case the cistern over fills or the ball valve fails.  The overflow normally emerges from the side of the house at around roof level – so if you see water gushing (or even dripping) from a pipe somewhere up high on the building, it almost certainly means the cistern is overflowing. It will not do any damage but you need to get it fixed. Give Drain Doctor a call and we will investigate to find out what the problem is and give you a quote for fixing it.

The capacity of the average domestic cold water cistern is around 230 litres (50 gallons). That is a lot of water so call Drain Doctor if you think that the overflow pipe has become blocked or damaged. If the water comes through your ceiling, instead of going through the overflow pipe, you will have a serious flood!

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‘Spring clean’ your pipes – and avoid costly repairs

As spring has now arrived it is time to get out the polish and give our homes a good old-fashioned clean.

However, jobs such as ensuring the plumbing and drains have fully survived the winter are often overlooked – but some simple cleaning and maintenance should be done to prevent major and expensive repairs.

Blocked drains and corroded fittings can lead to a multitude of problems, such as water damage from burst pipes, and can prove costly to repair. Dripping taps, toilets that don’t flush properly and water coming out of overflow pipes are sure signs that your plumbing needs an overhaul and should be checked as part of the spring cleaning process.

Drain Doctor has produced a simple check list for homeowners to ensure problems are identified quickly and that major repair work can be avoided:

• Always know where your main stop valve is located and ensure it is labelled. It is on the incoming mains water supply and is often under the kitchen sink.

• Stop valves tend to corrode slightly with time, so check that it’s working by exercising the valve twice from fully open to fully closed and back again (and always close the valve ‘half a turn’ from fully open once you’re done).

• Inspect toilet cisterns both inside and out for operation and wear. If there are any signs of corrosion or leaking, contact a reputable plumber.

• Visually inspect any cold water storage tanks in the attic for leaks, water level, protective lids and thermal insulation. Also, if fitted, check the hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard for signs of damage or leaks, and exercise all available valves.

• Install a strainer in plug holes to catch hair and other objects that could block drains.

If you find a problem, or suspect there may be one, get Drain Doctor to check pipes for leaks, damage and corrosion. By using a CCTV camera in the pipes, we can inspect and pinpoint exactly where drains are cracked, damaged or misaligned.

Robin Banks, Operations Manager, Drain Doctor

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