Q: How to avoid plumbing mistakes?
Plumbing mistakes can end up costing you a lot of money for later repairs, simply because they can lead to large-scale complications that can influence your home's entire plumbing. The best advice we can give when it comes to complicated repairs is that you leave the repairing to the professionals. If you're working on plumbing on your own, in order to avoid mistakes, always make sure you have the right pipe for the job, one that matches your installation, and always make sure your pipes are completely clean and unclogged. If you have any doubts about which parts go together, that's another instance when it's best that you leave the repairing to the pros.
Q: What plumbing pipe is the best for me?
There are a number of types of pipes that you can choose from for your plumbing. Before you go out and buy one for your home, make sure it meets your requirements. For example, copper pipes are very lightweight and durable and can fit easily in tight spaces, but CPVC pipes are easier to join as they don't require complex fitting or welding. PVC pipes can only be used for cold water applications and come in two lengths, while PEX pipes offer the smallest diameter. It's thus important to consider the parameters of your house and do the research to determine which pipe will work best for you.
Q: What kind of plumbing is required for a bathroom?
A bathroom needs to offer access to a number of facilities that run on running water, which is why it is important to figure out the placement of your bathroom plumbing. Decide on the type of pipes that you need for it - for your bath and sink, you will want pipes that can be used with both hot and cold water, for example, copper, while your toilet is fine just distributing cold water, so PVC should be sufficient.
Q: Are plumbing problems the landlord's responsibility?
Yes. Whenever there is a problem with the plumbing system, your landlord is responsible for the repairs in your home, regardless of whether it's a private property or a council building. Any sinks, baths, toilets, and any other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains, are part of the landlord's official list of responsibilities. Moreover, they must pay for any damage caused to your internal decorations through repairs of the plumbing system.
Q: Are plumbing leaks covered by insurance?
It all depends on your insurance policy, so it's best to do your own research when picking one out. Most solid policies, however, cover damage to burst pipes as standard, with more robust policies covering even more. Many policies also cover any damage caused to your interior because of plumbing problems, and some may even give you access to a good helpline. As with any other aspect of insurance, it is incredibly important that you make thorough check of the features offered to you and make sure you only choose a policy that meets all of your personal requirements.
Q: How do boilers work?
Boilers are at the centre of all central heating, as well as the means of heating water in your home. A boiler is a vessel that contains water and transfers the heat from its fuel source (oil, gas, coal, etc.) into the steam. That water is later transferred through pipes into various outlets, including radiators, under-floor heating, or for various other tasks such as sterilisation, steam-cleaning, etc. The steam coming from the boiler gives up a lot of energy in order to make an interior warm, but it is then converted back into water which can be completely reused. As such, a boiler can be a closed system when 100% of the steam used is returned to be re-used, making boilers a very efficient, relibale, and eco-friendly heating solution.
Q: How to prevent a boiler from overheating?
Boilers are a critical source of heat in the colder months, but at very rare instances, they carry the risk of overheating and causing serious damage, even exploding and covering the area with incredibly hot water which can cause sever bodily harm. In most cases, this can be prevented by making sure your boiler receives regular maintenance. Make sure there are no leaks, and should any appear, make sure they are handled as soon as possible. It's also important to keep your boiler clean and all of its pipes and valves properly adjusted, all in order to make sure you get maximum burning efficiency. By maintaining a record book of boiler operation and maintenance repairs, you can make it easier for technicians to identify problems before they become dangerous.
Q: When should I replace a boiler?
As one of the most important parts of your home or other building, boilers are built to last. In most cases, a well-maintained boiler should last you for 15 years, as long as you conduct annual services to make sure everything is still running smoothly. Still, even with yearly check-ups, boilers require more and more energy as they age, which in turn increases the costs, not to mention the risk of malfunctioning. By replacing a boiler faster you may actually save more money in the long run and reduce any risks, so it's always a good idea to gauge the efficiency of your current boiler before making that decision.
Q: Where to best install a boiler?
A boiler can be safely installed in most rooms, even in a loft. Before you do, however, make sure the wall you want it fitted on is strong enough to take its weight when filled with water. It's also important to remember that the boiler's flue needs a way to pass to the outside, either through the roof or an outside wall. Many clients decide to fit their boiler into their garage or outhouse, but before you do that, make sure you get additional frost protection for the system pipework, even if the boiler comes with its own built-in frost protection. Don't worry about air vents - a modern boiler may even be fitted in a cupboard as they are usually sealed and will run cool without the need for extra ventilation. When installing in a bathroom, make sure it is in one of the safe zones specified by current regulations.
FAQ CENTRAL HEATING
Q: How does a home central heating system work?
The term 'central heating' is quite self-explanatory. It involves the even distribution of heat to every room in your home from a central point or heat source. This is done through the use of warm water which is distributed evenly and thoroughly to every area of the house using a network of pipes. These pipes are in turn connected to radiators located in each room. Alternatively, they can be looped under the floor for underfloor heating, releasing a gentle heat into your home. The warm water is provided by means of a central boiler that later pumps it through the pipes into the particular rooms. Because it relies on water, central heating uses no forced air movement, so there are no draughts, hot and cold spots, or noisy fans disrupting your daily life. Boilers are usually fueled by gas in the UK. The process is incredibly efficient and doesn't really consume any water. Using the thermostat and time controller that each system is equipped with, you can regulate how much warmth your home receives, allowing you to save money.
Q: Which form of central heating is the best?
It really depends on various factors. Radiators and floor heating both do a good job warming your house in the cold months, but if you live in a flat, floor heating may not be necessary at all, since your floor will be warm from the flats of your lower-floor neighbours. Additionally, not everyone may enjoy the sensation of warm floors, and not every type of flooring conducts heat well, so make sure that the type of heating you choose can be effectively utilised at your home.
Q: Who can get free central heating?
Thanks to the Government's ECO Scheme of 2016, home owners and private tenants can have their old and inefficient boilers replaced completely free of charge, or at least heavily subsidised. These boiler grants are set up for low-income households in order to help increase their home's heating efficiency and reduce the overall cost of heating. In order to be eligible, you must meet the benefits criteria which are detailed on the government's website.
Q: What can I do to save money on central heating?
With fuel prices on the rise, it pays to be smart and find new and creative ways to save on heating bills. Among the quickest, easiest solutions is delaying switching on the boiler. While it may be tempting to prolong the summer heat as days get steadily colder, it's wise to resist that temptation and only turn on the boiler when you're dealing with serious frost. Oftentimes you don't even need to turn up the boiler as high as you thing - turn it down a bit, down to 17 or 18 degrees, especially on warmer days, and the difference will be noticeable. That goes double for your bedroom, as humans sleep better at lower temperatures, so you can save even more money by keeping it cool.
Q: What is the difference between central heating and air conditioning?
Central heating uses warm water travelling through pipes, while air conditioning involves air circulation. While with air conditioning you can both warm up and cool down your home, water-based central heating is much less disruptive.