With the amount of pipes running through the house, there are bound to be times when things go wrong within the plumbing system. Here are a few problems that you may come across in the future and solutions on how to fix them. Remember that if the problem looks too big for you to fix, then it is likely to be true. In these circumstances you need to find a local professional plumber or central heating engineer to have a look at the problem for you.
A tap which drips when closed needs a new washer. To change the washer, the first thing you need to do is stop the water system and leave the tap open. With a capstan head tap unscrew the shield below the handle and pull off the head of the tap. Use a spanner to undo the hexagonal nut which is revealed and lift out the top half of the tap. At the base of this assembly you will find a washer secured with a small nut. Remove this nut and fit a replacement rubber or nylon washer of the same diameter. Reassemble the tap and then restore the water supply.
It is normal for pipes carrying hot water to creak or knock occasionally as they expand when the pipes start to warm up. If you have a pipe that makes an excessive amount of noise you can use plastic foam around the problem area if you are able to locate it. The presence of scale in the pipes is a common cause of noisy pipes in hard water areas. A loud banging and vibration in the pipes is a water hammer, caused by the flow of water being shut off too quickly. The culprit is a worn washer or a faulty gland unit in a tap or an unsuitable ball valve in the water tank.
There are several possible causes to leaking pipes within the home. A hole caused by a nail being driven into the pipe or a fracture due to corrosion or freezing. Immediate action is necessary to prevent damage to carpets, wall coverings, etc. Stop water to the system and dry the affected pipe area. For a small hole, drive in the point of a pencil and then break it off. Tightly bind the area with a waterproof tape. If the trouble is a split rather than a hole, bind the fracture with waterproof tape. If the split is large, spread an epoxy glue over and around the fracture before binding with tape. After carrying out the temporary repair, restore the water supply and calla plumber to replace the pipe section.
Sometimes the actual water tank becomes noisy. This is a problem with old fashioned water tanks and you should replace the present ball valve with a modern one. Older water tanks can rust over time and start to leak. You need to check for rust or damage to the tank at least once a year. This is especially important if the tank is stored in the loft. A burst water tank could cause a huge amount of damage the ceiling and could even cause injury to a family member.