Plumbing FAQs – Part two

Date published: 2nd December 2013

So here it is: the second part of our ‘frequently asked plumbing questions‘ post. There are so many plumbing issues that crop up regularly, we wanted to split them into digestible parts.

How do I replace my toilet handle?

If your toilet handle has broken, you can usually replace it with just a new part and a wrench. Before you start, make sure you turn off the water supply to your toilet. Then lift the lid and find the lift chain which should be attached to the handle rod – pull that chain, the tank should empty. Unhook the chain and remove the nut on the handle. Remove the old handle and replace with the new one, reattaching the nut. Turn the water back on and the tank should fill back up. If you have any problems, you know what we’re going to say: call your plumber!

How do I replace pipes?

This one’s pretty straightforward – don’t. This is one of the areas in which we definitely wouldn’t encourage DIY. Pipe replacement should always be completed by a qualified professional for safety’s sake. If the problem is a small leak however, you should be able to repair the issue with a patch kit.

I think my shower head is blocked with a weird white substance, how can I fix it?

It’s very common for mineral deposits to build up in shower heads and these can cause long-term problems by corroding the metal pretty quickly. If you notice mineral deposits building up on your shower head, you can treat it with vinegar. Pour some into a plastic bag, place the bag of the shower head and let it sit overnight. When you take off the bag the next day, you should be able to scrub off the deposits with a toothbrush.

Why are my pipes rattling?

This is usually indicative of poorly-secured water lines. The problem itself can be quite easily fixed, it’s getting to the lines that can be tricky. If you’re unsure, it’s probably best to get a plumber round to take a look.

Why does my toilet keep filling up every 10 minutes?

This could indicate that the flush valve in your toilet is not working properly and is causing water to leak from the tank into the bowl. Open up the tank to check that the lift chain isn’t tangled as this can cause the problem. It might also be happening because the flapper is worn or damaged. If you’re not sure how to replace these parts, get in touch with your local plumber.

Argh a burst pipe! What should I do?

First things first, turn off the mains stopcock. This will take down the pressure of the leak and stop and more water flowing out of the burst pipe. The section of pipe that has burst will need to be cut out and replaced but as mentioned before, we really don’t recommend that you do this yourself. Give your trusty Plymouth plumber a call and he’ll do his utmost to get to you as soon as he possibly can.

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