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Pipe Leaks

A leaking pipe due to a burst can cause lots of damage in the home not only to furniture and carpets etc. but also if the water comes into contact with electricity it can be fatal. So quick action is required. Below are some actions that you can to take if you are faced with a leaking pipe:

Immediate Action:
Try and reduce any further flooding, by shutting the main water supply at the stopcock. This valve is normally situated under the sink in the kitchen. Open up all the cold water taps and flush the loo to help drain the water out of the system quicker. Switch off the central heating, and any immersion type of heaters. Open up the hot water taps to drain the same as the cold. It is a good idea to isolate the homes electrical supply by turning off at the main switch in the consumer unit or fuse box. This is in case you come into contact with electrical appliances when you are wet. A professional plumber like Falconwood Plumbers can help. If the water has been leaking through for some time and the ceilings are bulging under the weight, rooms may not be safe to enter. If you’re at all unsure about tackling a leak on your own, call an expert like a Falconwood Plumber to repair it correctly for you.

Guard against Leaks From Frozen Pipes.
Always try and insulate your water supply pipes with the correct material. This applies in the loft also. Use fibre material. Keeping the loft door open helps to keep your loft warm with warmer air from downstairs.
Isolate the water to your house and drain the pipework if you are planning a trip away for a while.
Always deal with minor plumbing issues like a dripping tap as they can freeze if the temperature falls.

Combination Boiler Loses Pressure

Boilers that supply central heating systems are quite reliable, however they can sometimes lose the water pressure that is responsible for its function. There is a pressure gauge fitted to these boilers to give an immediate reading so it will be easy to tell if it has little or no pressure. Pressure loss can be due to a couple of things like to a water leak in the pipework or maybe the failure of the expansion vessel fitted, which may cause relief valve damage. Falconwood Plumbers are a fully qualified plumbing service. Constant water pressure is critical and for the newer combination boilers is maintained with cold water flow through a mechanism known as a ‘filling loop’. This filling loop is the means by which the system can be re-filled to restore the pressure as it is known as a sealed system. Read the manufacturers manual to see if you can do it yourself. If you are not experienced, then, you could call a professional like a Falconwood Plumber to do the job.

Manual Re-fill:
First you need to identify the filling loop and the pressure gauge. Make sure that the pressure gauge can be seen while using the filling loop (1.5bar is the correct pressure). A filling loop will be a silver flexi tube with two levers, in the off position the levers will sit across the pipe. Move them slowly so they are in line with the pipe and the water will start to fill. You will hear the water running into the boiler. Watch the pressure gauge, as it should climb up into the green sector of the gauge or the 1.5bar pressure reading. Move the levers back to their original off position. Too much pressure can be achieved if you are not careful, so if you cannot monitor the gauge as you increase it’s pressure ask someone to help you. Should pressure issues still exist, then, you should seek advice from a professional.

Tap Types

The Monobloc.

This particular tap is so called due the internal design., having a single hole. With its handles and its spout close together. They are designed for kitchens and bathrooms. All the taps covered here can be fitted by a Falconwood Plumber professionally.

Bath/Basin Mixer.

They can not be fitted to a rising main cold water system and the hot side is from is fed from a cylinder because if the mains pressure was to change, then, the difference in that pressure would suck back stored water into the mains and may contaminate the water for drinking. The hot and cold water are able to come together inside its body. They are usually fed with water from a cistern.


Many mixers are of a two hole type that fit in a standard two hole sink for hot and cold. A professional plumbing service such as Falconwood Plumbers can give first class advice on choice and fitting of all tap types. They are two taps with a common spout hence the name. These taps are linked either by a deck block (which sits flat against the surface) or the raised, called a pillar block.

Mixer (Kitchen).

The spout usually swivels and should be able to reach both bowls of a double sink, they can also have capstan or lever style handles. The spout on this tap has separate channels for hot and cold water because the kitchen cold tap is fed direct from the mains and it is illegal to mix mains cold with hot from a cistern in one filling.

Bath/Shower Mixers.

The taps have a way of diverting the water flow from the spout of the tap over to the head of the shower through a switch that is a controller. They don’t usually give a spray, however they are quite popular on the bath.

WC Flush By Button

Nearly all systems now have these types of buttons for flushing fitted to their WCs. These systems are not big enough for the older type of ball and float mechanism. The inlet valves on these types can be a modified diaphragm type with a very short float arm, and miniature float, or a vertical valve with a float cup that fits round the centre of the valve body. Falconwood Plumbers have expert knowledge on this subject. These are quiet when operated, however the float cup is slow filling up the cistern if it is fed from somewhere other than a mains supply. In these slimline modern systems there is a plastic valve operated flush mechanism that is operated by top fitted button sat in the lid of the cistern. There is also an overflow incorporated. The two part button, is pressed once for a short low volume of water flush, and pressing both parts results in a full volume of water flush. The button is linked to the plunger rather than the wire link float arm system.


The design of the valve is very clever. A Falconwood Plumber is familiar with theses types of valves. However it is quite fiddly to adjust it for a good fit. So when installed, the valve must be altered so that the critical level on the body of the valve is at least 25millimetres above the top of the overflow. The adjustment can be made via a threaded shank at the base of the valve assembly so that correct location can be achieved.

The float cup inlet valve consists of a rubberised ring seal on the outside bottom of the cistern which will need to be replaced after a while but will not cause too much trouble.

Patch Up a Leak

If water freezes to ice in a pipe, it will cause severe problems throughout your plumbing system. This ice will expand until it eventually splits the walls of the pipe or breaches a joint. Falconwood Plumbers can fix all leaking pipework.
Pipework made from copper is more likely to split than other material like a lead pipe, (It is highly recommended that you replace the old lead with copper pipe as soon as you have contained the leak) which will stretch during the expansion and survive for some time before failing. Another reason for leaking plumbing is a material failure either through deterioration used or because a joint has collapsed. The best way is to make a repair that is permanent if possible which you can make with a new piece of pipework or a new joint.
The first action is to drain the pipe first unless of course it is frozen, in which case make the repair as soon as you can before it thaws out. A leaking pipe can be fixed in a temporary way by making a sleeve from a piece of rubber pipe which you cut to size and place over the point where the leak is situated. This is then bound with clips designed for hoses or by twisting very small gauge wire around the hose. You can also use putty to patch a leak. The putty comes in two parts which are mixed. Leave for about 35minutes to go off. Press it all over the leak or hole, to a thickness of around 3 to 6millimetres. The putty mix will will cure to its full strength in around 24 hours. Low pressure water can flow through the pipework almost straight away if you bolster the putty with tape All this equipment is carried as standard by an Falconwood Plumber .

Draining (an emergency)

You have developed a plumbing fault with your central heating system that needs urgent attention, in fact it is required that you carry out a full draining down of the system. If you are confident enough o carry this out yourself, then, the tips below can help:

a). Switch off the boiler so the pump will not run and wait until the water starts to cool.

b). Isolate the main supply that feeds your expansion tank.

Note: Plumbing services like Falconwood Plumbers drain systems.

d). In the loft, bridge the tank with the batten and tie up the float valve so that the water stops running, as a backup. Now slide one end of a hose onto the drain cock outlet and run the other end of the hose out into an outside drain by the shortest route. Secure it well, making sure that it runs level not upwards.

f). Using lots of old rags or cloths placed around the drain cock, use a key or correct size spanner to open the valve. A Falconwood Plumber carries all the correct spanners and keys.

g). You must make sure that at all times that the hose is ok and not leaking or has come away from one end or the other which will cause a flood.

H). As soon as the water stops running from the end of the hose, go from one radiator to another opening the bleed valves slightly, so that the last drops of water can run away.

i). When you have made your repairs to the system you can close the drain cock and all the radiator bleed valves, dismantle the backup stick/string on the float vale in the loft and turn on the main stopcock.

j). Now bleed all the radiators in the system from the top down and the final act is to bleed the heating pump as it may contain air. Tidy up and the job is done.