Dealing with burst pipes and plumbing problems

Unlike other problems around the home that can probably wait, issues involving the water system often require immediate attention. Sometimes, you’ll be able to deal with the situation, however the majority of circumstances need the help of a professional.

Thankfully, CORGI HomePlan’s policy for boiler and central heating protection also includes certain plumbing problems. In addition to issues relating to hot and cold water pipes and overflows from your tank, one of our qualified plumbers will aim to arrive within 2 hours of an uncontrolled leak.

However, if you feel confident in fixing minor mishaps, here are some hints and tips for the most common plumbing problems.

Dealing with leaks
Not only can leaks be a major inconvenience, they can also add lots of money onto your water bill. But in most cases, a simple leak can easily be solved without too much disruption. To get you through your plumbing problems, here are some CORGI HomePlan helpful hints and tips:

  • Bath and shower. Ensure that fittings are secure and movement is minimal, as this is the main cause of leaks. For steel baths, secure to the wall through the bath lip and screw all feet firmly to the base. Plastic baths usually need more attention, but adding timber supports between the main body and walls should make it more secure.
  • Sink. A leaking sink is caused by either the pipe or failed washers. Make sure the pipe is secured properly by checking the nozzle. However, the problem might be an old or damaged pipe, which will need replacing. Washers may be worn, damaged or degraded, which will also require replacements
  • Toilet. You may be able to see a crack in your toilet pan or cistern, which can be filled using specialist putty from a DIY store. But this is only a short-term fix, as a new pan or cistern is the best solution. You may find the overflow pipe leaks, which is caused by the ballcock not fully shutting off the water tank’s valve. In this case, a replacement valve or washer is usually needed.
  • Taps. To identify the problem, turn off the water supply and unscrew the tap’s nut. Hold onto the spout as this could lead to a pipe leak or cracked basin. Replace the washer if necessary. If the problem persists, it probably needs reseating. Older taps might need replacing altogether.

Dealing with blockages

  • Toilet. Although alleviating toilet blockages can be a messy job, a simple plunger usually does the job. If not, there is probably a block in the chamber, which requires a specialist rod or wire. Chemical drain cleaners may also work. Do not continually flush the toilet, as this can cause the bathroom to flood.
  • Sink. Again, a plunger can be used. But if this doesn’t work, you can try to rinse out the sink pipe by placing a bucket underneath and unscrewing the connection.
  • Bath and shower. A bent piece of wire can be used to scrape out the blockage. Alternative, use 15 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda into the drain followed by 100 millilitres of white vinegar. Chemical drain cleaner is also an option, but be sure to read the manufacturers instructions carefully. To prevent future blockages, invest in a hair trap that sits over the plughole.

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