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How to prevent plumbing emergencies

A plumbing emergency fills most of us with dread – a blocked drain, an overflowing toilet or a burst pipe can wreak havoc in your home, cause serious water or property damage, waste a precious resource, and cost you a small fortune in repairs. 

So why wait until you find yourself in deep water? The best way to prevent plumbing problems is through regular maintenance. While most plumbing repairs require a licensed plumber, there are a few simple checks you can do, to keep things in full flow in-between visits.

cropped view of plumber using plunger in toilet bowl during flushing in modern restroom with grey


5 basic steps to avoid plumbing problems


  1. Regularly check indoor and outdoor taps for drips; and look for leaks below sinks. 
  2. Regularly inspect connector hoses on your washing machine. Look for signs of wear – over time, the hoses can dry out, crack or burst, flooding the floor. 
  3. Be aware of fluctuations in water temperature or changes in water pressure. 
  4. Check drainage speed in basins, tubs and sinks.
  5. Prevention is always better – and often cheaper – than cure. Book in for regular plumbing maintenance with CHISWICK PLUMBING. 


No matter how handy you are, there are some problems that only a licensed plumber should handle! Our Service & Maintenance Agreement Program offers you substantial savings and peace of mind for 12 months.


How to prevent blocked drains


One of the most common plumbing complaints are blocked drains. Telltale signs are water that drains more slowly, or loud gurgling. Clogs in bathroom drains can occur due to a build-up of hair or soap residue. Similarly, food scraps can collect over time to block your kitchen drain. 


Here’s what you can do to avoid clogs in your pipes: 

  • Regularly remove hair and soap residue from bathroom drains.
  • Don’t dump grease down the kitchen drain – cooking oil, grease and fatty gunk will quickly build up to block pipes.
  • Be smart about waste disposal; fit sinks with strainers and keep them clean. Food scraps, especially fibrous material can cause blockages.


Baking soda in a spoon over a dirty dishwasher sink

Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners?


Proceed with caution! There are many DIY products on the market that claim to clear blocked pipes and drains. Chemical cleaners are designed to cause a reaction when mixed with water, breaking down anything that these solvents come into contact with. However, chemical products can burn your skin or eyes if not used correctly. And they carry the risk of erosion – cleaners can damage your pipes, especially if you use them too often, or if your pipes are rusted or cracked. 


Instead, you can try these quick home remedies:

  • Give plunging a go. Use a flat plunger for bath drains or sinks, and a tapered one for toilets.
  • Regularly run hot or boiling water down the drain for a few minutes to dissolve soap residue or fat build-up.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaners such as baking soda & vinegar, or baking soda & lemon juice. Mix in equal parts, pour down the drain, let it sit for an hour, then finish with boiling water.
  • If the clogs won’t clear, call in a licensed plumber –  at CHISWICK PLUMBING, we’ll make short work of any blockage.


What happens if you leave a leaking tap?


While you may not find the constant drip annoying, a leaking tap can waste as much as 2,000 litres of water in a single month! That’s not good for the environment. And it could hit you where it hurts – over time, a leaking tap can increase your water bill substantially.


Left unfixed, a dripping tap can cause water to collect around the joins of sinks and basins, leading to erosion. Pooled water can seep into, and damage expensive floor coverings. Water can also drip down walls and into cupboards, creating the perfect wet conditions for mould to grow. Exposure to mould is a serious health hazard for allergy and asthma sufferers.


Do you need a plumber to fix a dripping tap?


While taps may look like a simple plumbing fixture, they are made up of several internal components, all of which deteriorate over time – just changing the washer will not always fix the leak! 


Common causes of a leaking tap include:

  • Worn out washer
  • Incorrect size washer
  • Worn out jumper valve
  • Damaged valve seating
  • Worn out O-ring


To correctly diagnose the cause of the problem, it’s best to call in a professional. At Chiswick Plumbing, our plumbers can identify the issue and recommend the most cost-effective solution. We also offer a full tap service to ensure your taps stay in tip-top condition.  


The plumber in overalls fixes the toilet

5 Simple toilet maintenance tips 


Toilets work hard. If not maintained, your loo has the potential to be one of the most problematic fixtures in your home. Let’s lift the lid on the simple measures you can take to keep it in good order:


  1. Check toilet surfaces for cracks. When cleaning, avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the bowl, and damage pipes over time.
  2. Remember, the loo is for loo paper only! Never flush nappies, wet wipes, paper towel or sanitary products. To unblock a clog, try a quick plunge – use a tapered plunger, designed specifically for this purpose.
  3. Regularly inspect your toilet. Remove the tank lid and flush the loo; check if water drains and refills properly. 
  4. Check around your toilet for any leaks. 
  5. Don’t ignore a toilet that keeps running! It can waste thousands of litres of water in a matter of weeks.


If in doubt, give Chiswick Plumbing a shout. A maintenance check by one of our plumbers will ensure your toilet lasts for many years, without the cost of unnecessary repairs.


How can you tell if it’s a plumbing emergency?


If you experience any of the following plumbing problems, call Chiswick Plumbing straightaway! 

  • Gas leak
  • Burst water pipe
  • Overflowing toilet
  • Broken or gushing tap
  • Burst hot water storage tank
  • Blocked sewerage or stormwater 


Our emergency plumbers are here to help and we are available 24/7. 


What about lockdown restrictions?


At CHISWICK PLUMBING, our plumbers are available during lockdown to carry out any emergency plumbing work, in accordance with the latest Government restrictions. 


Rest assured, your safety is our #1 priority – we adhere to strict COVID-19 safe practices.


If you’re unsure whether or not your plumbing issue is an emergency, please call us to discuss the situation.


Call Chiswick Plumbing today