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Hints & Tips

Hard Water

Hard Water

More than half the country suffers from hard water, with Lincolnshire experiencing some of the hardest coming out of our taps.
Hard water is a result of rain water filtering down through limestone and similar type rock and picking up calcium and magnesium salts as it goes. The most noticeable results in the home are scale in the kettle, on showerheads, marks in the sink, bath and around taps.
Less noticeable is the damage done inside washing machines, dishwashers and your central heating system. Limescale forms more readily in heated water, so on heating elements and inside boilers, hot water cylinders and radiators. It attacks pumps, valves, pipework and fittings, radiators and their valves.

Soft Water

Fitting a water softener immediately cuts out this limescale forming in your home, making appliances last longer and reducing maintenance costs. Detergent,soap and shampoo usage is reduced and your hair and skin will feel softer. Car washing is easier as streaks and spots are reduced. Gas and heating oil bills can be reduced by 10% as heat exchangers lose their calcified insulation jackets.

Water Softeners

Costing about as much as a good washing machine, a water softener will pay for itself in 3 years. Simple to operate and maintain, they remove the limescale from the water and wash it away. Very often installed under or next to the sink, they just need an electrical supply, a drain and a connection to the mains water. They rarely fail and simply need periodic topping up with salt tablets to keep them turning the hard water to soft. All new homes ought to have one fitted, but it’s never too late even in older properties, as the ongoing damage caused by limescale can be stopped easily and immediately.

As usual, call Neil at NT Plumbing for more information.

Routine Maintenance

Plumbing is one aspect of your regular home maintenance routine that has to be looked after throughout the year. Below you will find a helpful checklist that will help you to look for plumbing problems before they become a real issue.

• Look for signs of leaks in exposed pipes, where pipes run through the walls or the foundation of your home. Signs of a leak include puddles of water and watermarks.

• Look for signs of corrosion. Corrosion of pipes can cause leaks and bad pipe connections if not corrected. A sign of corrosion is green stains around brass and copper fittings and on shutoff valves.
Check each sink, shower and bath drain for the speed of drainage. Slow drainage usually indicates a blockage in the drain or a blocked vent pipe. Your drains should have a full swirl when draining. If bubbles appear when water is draining, this is usually a sign of a problem.

• Check the flushing handle and inside parts of the toilet. Make sure it flushes properly. Check inside the cistern of the toilet to see if any parts are broken, rusted, or missing. Make sure the toilet water does not continue to run after flushing and make sure there is no sign of water on the floor around the toilet.

• Look for cracked tiles in the shower. Loose or hollow tiles can be an indication that there is, or was, a leak that has caused rotting behind the tile.

• Check the bath, sink or shower silicone sealant for signs of coming away, or mold growth.

• Turn on all of the taps in your home to see if there is any water coming out of the handles and valves.

• Check the washing machine hoses to make sure that there aren’t any cracks and that the hoses are not brittle or leaking.

As usual, if you have any doubts or need advice, call NT Plumbing and we will be glad to help.

Our Hints & Tips

It's the DIY season!

Have you already been drawn into it? The Easter bank holiday weekend is traditionally the start of the DIY season. The extra days off work and the longer evenings entice homeowners to tackle jobs that have been put off in the gloomy days of winter. However, there are some jobs that should only be left to a professional to carry out.

Changing a tap washer is one thing, but when it comes to more complex plumbing jobs you need to know what you are doing, otherwise you could cause serious damage to your home and possibly be fined for breaking Water Regulations.
According to Zurich Insurance, many homeowners underestimate their abilities, which results in one in six having to call in experts to fix their mistakes. The irony is that in many cases fixing the botched DIY can entail more work and be more expensive to fix than if a plumber had been called in to address the original problem.

The added expense of putting a job right is not the only problem when it comes to DIY and plumbing systems. Insurance claims for DIY botches will end up with insurance premiums going up, and accidents with unfamiliar tools and machinery not properly trained for account for over two thirds of hospital admissions related to DIY.

Your loved ones could also be put at risk through mistakes made when tampering with plumbing and heating systems. Water contamination, scalding and even gas explosion are all realistic outcomes of incompetent DIY.

Householders are subject to the same laws and regulations that the professionals are. Your plumbing systems deal with clean water and sanitation – the cornerstones of health within your home. In addition, anyone working on heating and hot water systems must be suitably qualified and be registered with the relevant body such as the Gas Safe Register, OFTEC or HETAS.

Know your limitations if you are intending tackling those small jobs around the house and don’t hesitate to call in the professionals if it all gets too much!

Water conservation                                     

Conserving water in the home not only helps to protect the environment, it also saves you money.

On average, we all use 160 litres of water a day in the home for cooking, drinking and washing. Modern appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers can assist us with our daily chores, but use large amounts of water. By making some small changes in our daily routine, we can start to save water in our homes.
Approximately 80% of household water use is at the washbasin. Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth, shave or wash your hands as this can waste up to 5 Litres of water per minute.

A 5 minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath:

• A bath uses 80 Litres
• A shower uses 35 Litres
Spray taps typically save up to 80% of the water and energy used with standard pillar taps.

Each cycle of a washing machine uses up to 100 litres, so make sure you only use your washing machine when you have a full load.

When purchasing an appliance, choose one that is water efficient.
Wash your car with a bucket and sponge. A hosepipe can use up to 100 litres of water an hour.

Leaking taps – one drip per second wastes 15 litres of water per day. Drips can also stain your bath or sink and the tap seating could be permanently damaged.

As usual, if you have any concerns or need advice, call NT Plumbing and we will be glad to help.

Prevention or cure?

When it comes to plumbing and central heating, unfortunately breakdowns and accidents happen and we have to deal with them as a matter of urgency, but sometimes with a little forward planning we can minimize the risk of them happening.

Leaks, blockages, faulty parts – they rarely get better on their own and often end up being more expensive the longer they are left. If fixing the problem seems a little daunting, call in the experts.

Take these examples;

• A loose tile in a shower cubicle had been noticed months before, but didn’t appear to be causing any problems until one day the water came through the ceiling, spoiling a new cream carpet, the painted ceiling and the rest of the tiled wall in the cubicle.

• An overflowing loft cistern was ignored until the water bill arrived…The stain on the outside wall was another problem as a consequence.

• Over the years, the hot water cylinder had seemed to take longer to heat up and the gas bill was way higher than anyone else’s.. When it eventually had to be replaced, it’s old red jacket had fallen off and been lost and it took two men to carry out due to all the limescale rattling around inside.

Routine home maintenance and a little investment in technologies such as water softeners can pay dividends in the long run. Central heating also benefits from regular servicing and occasional flushing out, making it more fuel efficient.

We all hate the inconvenience and cost when something goes wrong, so maybe it makes sense to try and prevent that rainy day?

It's the DIY Season!

Have you already been drawn into it? The Easter bank holiday weekend is traditionally the start of the DIY season. The extra days off work and the longer evenings entice homeowners to tackle jobs that have been put off in the gloomy days of winter. However, there are some jobs that should only be left to a professional to carry out.

Changing a tap washer is one thing, but when it comes to more complex plumbing jobs you need to know what you are doing, otherwise you could cause serious damage to your home and possibly be fined for breaking Water Regulations.
According to Zurich Insurance, many homeowners underestimate their abilities, which results in one in six having to call in experts to fix their mistakes. The irony is that in many cases fixing the botched DIY can entail more work and be more expensive to fix than if a plumber had been called in to address the original problem.

The added expense of putting a job right is not the only problem when it comes to DIY and plumbing systems. Insurance claims for DIY botches will end up with insurance premiums going up, and accidents with unfamiliar tools and machinery not properly trained for account for over two thirds of hospital admissions related to DIY.

Your loved ones could also be put at risk through mistakes made when tampering with plumbing and heating systems. Water contamination, scalding and even gas explosion are all realistic outcomes of incompetent DIY.

Householders are subject to the same laws and regulations that the professionals are. Your plumbing systems deal with clean water and sanitation – the cornerstones of health within your home. In addition, anyone working on heating and hot water systems must be suitably qualified and be registered with the relevant body such as the Gas Safe Register, OFTEC or HETAS.

Know your limitations if you are intending tackling those small jobs around the house and don’t hesitate to call in the professionals if it all gets too much!

Hard Water

Hard Water

More than half the country suffers from hard water, with Lincolnshire experiencing some of the hardest coming out of our taps.
Hard water is a result of rain water filtering down through limestone and similar type rock and picking up calcium and magnesium salts as it goes. The most noticeable results in the home are scale in the kettle, on showerheads, marks in the sink, bath and around taps.
Less noticeable is the damage done inside washing machines, dishwashers and your central heating system. Limescale forms more readily in heated water, so on heating elements and inside boilers, hot water cylinders and radiators. It attacks pumps, valves, pipework and fittings, radiators and their valves.

Soft Water

Fitting a water softener immediately cuts out this limescale forming in your home, making appliances last longer and reducing maintenance costs. Detergent,soap and shampoo usage is reduced and your hair and skin will feel softer. Car washing is easier as streaks and spots are reduced. Gas and heating oil bills can be reduced by 10% as heat exchangers lose their calcified insulation jackets.

Water Softeners

Costing about as much as a good washing machine, a water softener will pay for itself in 3 years. Simple to operate and maintain, they remove the limescale from the water and wash it away. Very often installed under or next to the sink, they just need an electrical supply, a drain and a connection to the mains water. They rarely fail and simply need periodic topping up with salt tablets to keep them turning the hard water to soft. All new homes ought to have one fitted, but it’s never too late even in older properties, as the ongoing damage caused by limescale can be stopped easily and immediately.

As usual, call Neil at NT Plumbing for more information.

6. Best Masters 

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Give us a Call

If you want more information or require any of our services, call Neil at NT Plumbing on the number below.