Plumbing tips for your home

Useful tips from professional plumbers

Plumbing Tips

Do you know where your mains stopcock is?

You should definitely find it. If you have a major water leak then the only alternative would be to shut the water off in the road… but do you know where that is? You should turn your stopcock on and off at least a couple of times a year to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Why fit individual isolation valves on taps and toilets?

It’s a good idea to have individual isolation valves fitted on all taps and toilets to enable them to be turned off in emergencies without having to shut down and drain the whole system.

How much can you save by turning down your thermostat?

The Department of Energy estimates savings of about 1 percent for each degree of thermostat adjustment per 8 hours, and recommends turning thermostats back 7 to 10 degrees from their normal settings for 8 hours per day to achieve annual savings of up to 10%.

Reduce heat loss with a draught excluder

The typical air leakage from doors is 11% and whereas a gap under the door may seem insignificant, a 1/8 inch gap under a 36 inch wide exterior door will let as much cold air in your home as a 2.4 inch-diameter hole punched in the wall (source: The Washington Post). The installation of a draught excluder is easy and you can do it yourself, making these a great investment when reducing heat loss.

Top tip to maintain your central heating system all year round

If you run your central heating system for an hour or two once a month throughout the summer, and turn radiator valves on and off a few times, it’s less likely to fail when you turn it on for the winter.

Why fit a water softener?

Fitting a water softener can reduce the build-up of limescale in washing machines, dishwashers, taps, showers and the immersion cylinder, as well as being much nicer to bathe in! Remember that you shouldn’t drink water that has been through a softener.

Having your boiler serviced regularly is likely to save you money

Having your oil boiler serviced annually is likely to save you money. A badly running boiler could be as much as 10% less efficient and the eventual “deep-clean” takes hours! Larger capacity oil boilers are often serviced every 6 months for this very reason.

How hot should your water be?

Cylinder thermostats should be set between 55 and 65 degrees. This is hot enough to kill harmful bacteria in the water but could also be hot enough to scald. For extra safety consider installing a thermostatic mixing valve which will automatically ensure that hot water is at a safe temperature.

Frozen condense waste pipe? Here's what to do...

A frozen condense waste pipe will often cause the boiler to stop working. If the pipe is outside, then simply running a kettle of very hot water over any exposed pipe may be all it needs to get it going again.

Why do you need to balance your radiators?

A central heating system that isn’t balanced is likely to have some radiators “that never really work properly”. It’s fairly straightforward to balance it yourself and we can provide details on how to achieve this.

Why choose a Gas Safe Registered engineer?

A badly installed gas boiler is not only likely to be inefficient and expensive to run, but it’s also a potential death trap. Ensure that every engineer entering your home to work on a gas appliance is correctly registered through the “Gas Safe Register” system. Every qualified engineer has a photo ID card.

Combi boilers - a myth dispelled

It is a myth that a combi boiler will allow the shower to run cold when a tap is turned on. A modern combi can easily run three or even four showers simultaneously.

Benefits of fitting smart controls to your central heating system

Smart controls can usually be fitted to your Central Heating system giving you the opportunity to change its settings wherever you are. Going to be late home tonight? A smart control can let you delay the ON time of your heating, saving you money

Going to be early coming home but don’t fancy entering a cold house with no hot water? A smart control will let you turn your heating on earlier than normal…. warm toes! Hot bath!!

Winter holiday? Read our tip to keep your system running efficiently

Winter holiday? Turn your mains water off before you go away but leave the heating on the timer for a couple of hours a night. For extended winter holidays either get an anti-freeze additive or get the system drained down completely.

Is a carbon monoxide alarm worthwhile?

A good quality carbon monoxide alarm is a fairly inexpensive item that can save lives. Fitted correctly it will give an early warning that things are not well. Don’t ignore it

Is your oil boiler installer registered with OFTEC?

Although oil boiler installations are not governed with the same rules as gas appliances, they can still be installed badly, leaving the occupants in your home at risk. Any good oil installer will be registered with OFTEC, the governing body for oil installations.

Should your oil boiler be inside or outside?

Oil boilers can be positioned outside saving valuable space within the home.

Water in your oil tank?

Water in your oil tank will stop an oil boiler from working if it reaches the burner. A simple water separator could be the answer.

Top tip for oil users to save money

Oil users could save money by entering into a “top-up” scheme and never run out of oil again! Remember, saving a pound or two on a “cheaper” delivery of oil is completely written off if you actually run dry. An engineer visit could cost as much as £78 to get it going again…. That’s a lot of oil!

Excellent company to deal with

The Purple Plumbing People have just installed a new Worcester oil fired boiler which I am very pleased with. The engineers visited my house to assess my current heating system, took time to explain the various options available for a new system and answered all my questions with technical competence and in detail. Their quote was competitive and the work was carried out to schedule and on budget. The engineer who installed the boiler had a great work ethic, he was technically excellent and cleared up really well when the job was finished. This is an excellent company to deal with and I shall be using them to service my boiler.”


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Unit 9 Old Sawmills Road, Faringdon, SN7 7DS

Based in Faringdon, we work in the surrounding areas including Lechlade, Highworth, Fairford, Cirencester, Shrivenham, Burford, Carterton, Witney, Stanford in the Vale, South Marston, Kingston Bagpuize, Standlake, Aston, Bampton, Wantage.