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Five common plumbing problems - and what to do about them

Five common plumbing problems - and what to do about them

Plumbing problems - a bit like plumbers - come in all shapes and sizes!

This week XP Plumbing and Heating gives the lowdown on five of the most common plumbing problems we encounter on our rounds in Sidcup, Bexley and London. And of course, some tips on how you can prevent or resolve them…

Blocked toilet

A blocked toilet is probably one of the least pleasant plumbing problems you can have at home. While the occasional issue is almost inevitable, you can reduce your chances of suffering a serious blockage by being careful about what you put down there!

Don’t dispose of sanitary products, paper towels, nappies, or wet wipes by trying to flush them down your toilet. In our experience, this is a very common cause of a blocked toilet, and among the most challenging to unblock!

Likewise, be mindful that those toilet freshener widgets, while pleasant, can cause all sorts of trouble if dislodged into the bowl and then accidentally flushed.

Dripping or leaky taps

A simple dripping tap is one of the most common plumbing issues in the home. While a leaky tap isn’t the worst thing that can go wrong with your plumbing, it can certainly be an irritation.

You might be surprised how wasteful it is too. According to research, a tap in your home leaking at a pretty leisurely ten drips per minute (one every six seconds), will be sending three litres of water straight down your drains every day. That’s well over 1000 litres a year!

And if you’re on a water meter, that equates to hundreds of pounds a year disappearing too.

Low water pressure

You get home and turn on your kitchen tap or shower to discover - rather than the reliable water flow you’re used to - a sorry dribble, or worse, no water at all. Nightmare!

Lots of things can cause low water pressure in your home. Some relate to your home’s internal plumbing itself, some to outside factors like a problem from the mains supply, or even a neighbour’s plumbing (increasingly true with so many of Sidcup and Bexley’s properties being converted into flats these days).

If a sudden case of low water pressure is getting you down, you might find our four simple tests useful.

They’ll help you establish where the cause of your low water pressure is likely to be coming from, and who you need to call to get it sorted.

Slow draining or blocked drains and plugholes

When it comes to healthy drainage for your kitchen sink, bathroom shower and other plugholes, prevention is definitely the best cure. Avoid the hassle of clogged, blocked, or slow-draining plugholes by being mindful of what you put down them.

In particular, avoid pouring cooking fats, oils and other food grease down your kitchen sink if possible. Although runny while hot, they cool quickly and can congeal in your drains, causing a blockage.

Or go one better by fitting strainers to your sink and shower plugholes. They’ll help catch a lot of the soap, hair, food debris and other gunk that would otherwise accumulate in your drains and cause blockages.

Discoloured water from your taps

Turned on the tap and got a nasty surprise? Another common plumbing issue, discoloured water can arrive in many different varieties.

Cloudy or ‘milky’ water, orange or brown water, or blue/green water, are the most common, and have very different causes.

Most of the time, if your water is coming out of your tap discoloured, it’s only a temporary issue and will resolve itself quickly. If it doesn’t, you may need to call your water company, or a plumber like XP Plumbing and Heating, to identify and fix the problem.

To help identify the cause of your discoloured water, check out our article exploring the causes of - and fixes for - discoloured water at home.

Got a problem with your plumbing? Or worried about any other aspect of your home electrics, gas or heating?

Our team of experienced, Sidcup based plumbers, heating and gas engineers provides our customers with a 24/7 response. From our base in Sidcup, we provide comprehensive cover across the local area - including Eltham, Bexleyheath, Bromley, Chislehurst and Greenwich, as well as most of London and north Kent.

Get in touch with XP Plumbing and Heating of Sidcup today.