What to do in an emergency
Plumbing 101: Doing your own minor plumbing repairs in the home can save you a l ot of money
UNLESS you can aff ord to fork out every time something goes wrong in your home, it pays to know a f ew plumbing b asics. Do y ou kno w wher e y our s topcock is l ocated? In f act, do y ou kno w what a stopcock is ?
A s topcock is a t ap that turns off the w ater supply, either to your home (main stopcock) or to a fit ting in the home. T he main s topcock is located on a property boundary, normally close to the w ater met er.
In the event of an emergency, such as a burst pipe, faulty geyser or plumbing emergency, you should acquaint yourself with the location of this valve. T he ar ea ar ound the s topcock needs t o be kept clear to allow easy access. Additionally, the tap itself should be greased from time to time to ensur e it doe s not seiz e up . Don’t panic when the sink or sho blocks up
It’s a fairly simple procedure to unblock a drain in a home. If y ou take the time t o understand your home plumbing, from water in to sewerage out, y ou should be able t o t ackle mos t minor plumbing r epairs y ourself.
When a sink dr ain block s up , it is normall y caused by an obstruction along the pipe— most frequently in the utrap behind or under the sink. Don the rubber gloves, grab a bucket and screwdriver (to undo the circlip) and remove the pipe to g et t o a block age.
wer Do not use caus tic soda t o r emove bl ockages
When a sho wer dr ain block s, it’ s normall y caused by a build up of hair in the dr ain. Most drain caps are either clipped or screwed into the shower floor and ar e f airly eas y t o r emove.
Once the cap is off, put on rubber gloves and remove any blockage. Run the shower on hot for a minut e or so t o clean out the dr ain. Blockages out side the home
Look at the pipes outside your home. You will see that pipes have a small, medium or large inspection cap. Use adjustable pliers to open this cap to check for blockages that cannot be solved by cleaning out the dr ain or utr ap.
Once any blockage has been r emoved, use a hose pipe t o flush the pipe.
If a drain outside your home is smelly, it’s easy to remove the grated cover and check for blockages. Use a dr ain auger or cutoff piec e of hose pipe t o loosen a block age.
Know where your manhole drainage cover is to check the flow and avoid costly drain maintenance. If caught early, you can improve the flow of y our dr ains quickl y with a hose pipe jet of water. Safety fir st when dril ling int o w alls
When it comes to drilling into walls, especially tiled walls in a bathroom or kitchen, the last thing you need is to hit a water pipe or electrical conduit.
An electronic detector, such as the Bosch PDO or PDO 6, will locate electrical cables and water pipes behind tiles, so that you don’t have to worry about c ostly mis takes.
Always use a det ector when drilling int o the walls of y our home.