Why Emergency Plumbers Say: Never Neglect Your Water Pipes

November 20th, 2009

With all the talk of global warming, it’s easy to believe that emergency plumbers in London get all their work from flooding and blocked drains rather than burst pipes. Which begs the question: why do people still bother with antifreeze – or lag their gardens for that matter?

Come Autumn, householders diligently chance the water in their cars, and protect their delicate green charges by moving them to the conservatory. They never stop to think that their household pipes are just as precious. Even if they lag those outside, they often neglect the ones in the loft, or rely on lagging that deteriorated years ago.  Yet above the insulation felt, it’s as cold indoors as out – often colder. You don’t need weeks of sub-freezing temperatures to suffer a burst pipe. One cold frost can do it, if your pipes aren’t properly lagged.

Burst pipes don’t always go on the coldest days, either. We at IQ Plumbers are kept busy throughout the year, repairing pipes.

Burst water pipes are a householder’s nightmare. Not only do you end up with emergency plumbers’ bills – you end up with hefty repairs, as well.

A burst pipe is potentially very dangerous
. The place pipes most often burst are often isolated from the rest of the house. This means householders are unlikely to notice a burst pipe until they hear dripping water. If the fuses don’t blow, it could signal tragedy. The way most people discover where the leak is, is by stepping in the puddle on the floor…

A burst pipe can be much more than a callout to the emergency plumbers. London householders have died from discovering – too late – that water and electricity don’t mix.

Times When Blocked Drains Really Do Need An Emergency Drainage Company

November 18th, 2009

When we at IQ Plumbing are called out to blocked drains, it’s usually a case of flushing out congealed kitchen or bathroom waste, or accumulated silt and debris from the garden.

However, there are times when the problem is a bit more complex. The one thing that must never be done is to continue trying to force the blockage through. This could result in total drain collapse, or even the disappearance of your garden! Luckily, our emergency plumbers have a whole load of resources to call on, including CCTV analysis.

Here are some of the more common reasons why our emergency plumbers are called out to blocked drains from external causes:

1. Fractured pipe. This is a structural defect caused by pressure (commonly flooding or building work) from above ground. Fractures and cracks in the drain allow water to leak out, which destabilises the surrounding ground. When the drain isn’t in use, this leaches back, bringing soil with it. It needs urgent treatment as it can cause subsidence and will eventually collapse – a far more costly repair.

2. Collapsed drain. This self-explanatory problem has many causes, ranging from contractors drilling into the pipe, to severe flooding, to increased traffic on the road above.

3. Tree roots. This is caused by roots seeking moisture, cracking and fracturing the pipe as they go. Material flowing through the drain will snag on the roots, worsening the blockage. This can be avoided by sensible planting, but where trees are long established it’s best to replace clay pipes with PVC, which tree roots simply snake round.

Don’t leave it until you have to call out the emergency plumbers. In London, we at IQ plumbing Services will happily do a routine CCTV check of your drains, to ensure all is well.

When Blocked Drains Get Serious…

November 16th, 2009

…then it’s time to get the cameras in! With the increased rate of flooding in the south east, the ever aging subterranean drainage system and increased rumble of heavy plant across our streets, we at IQ Plumbing Services anticipate a rush of calls to our emergency plumbers in London this winter, all from concerned householders convinced their drain has collapsed.

Thankfully, things are rarely that serious. However, if a simple drain clearance operation doesn’t work, it’s time to use our motivated little terriers – otherwise known as CCTV cameras.

CCTV is a great tool that emergency plumbers in London can’t afford to be without.  Once, a serious drain blockage meant digging up your entire garden until the fault was located. Tough call, if the blockage was outside your property.
The arrival of CCTV has changed all that. Once used to locate earthquake victims and enter battle areas, today it is the plumber’s mate: a tough little terrier that we can use to sort out practically any blockage.

The first thing, of course, is to ensure the blockage isn’t on the householder’s side (blocked stack pipes being a case in point). Once we are sure the drain is the problem, we insert the mobile camera down the drain, via hardware operated by the plumber. London drains come in all sizes, and the camera is small enough to be used in the narrowest of them.

The camera relays continual images back to the monitor. The special software enables us to log a diagnosis and locate the problem from above ground, with pinpoint accuracy.

At IQ Plumbing Services, our emergency plumbers have the tools for every kind of job.

Times When Emergency Plumbers Need To Use CCTV

November 13th, 2009

When you call a plumber in London, it’s a great help if they have a good knowledge of the sewerage system in your area. The London sewerage system is very old in places, and over time drains deteriorate. Damage can be caused by ground movement, tree roots, or drilling activities. In all these cases, the end result may be a drain that appears to be a simple blockage, but isn’t.

Structural damage to drains is a serious matter, and must be dealt with promptly. The worst thing you can do, when a drain is fractured, is to keep on flushing away the silt with a high-pressure hose. The silt has leached in from the surrounding soil; over time, its continued removal will cause the ground above the drain to collapse, causing a massive amount of damage.

This is why, when emergency plumbers suspect a blockage hasn’t been caused by the householder, they employ CCTV cameras to explore the problem. Sometimes, a visual assessment is all that’s needed; other times major structural repairs may be required. In both cases, a CCTV survey will provide a cost effective and accurate way to determine the problem and suggest ways to cure it.

CCTV can also be used in a preventative fashion. If you have just bought an old property, it’s a good idea to call a plumber in London especially drains are prone to sudden collapse. It’s also a good selling point if a seller’s HIP pack includes CCTV drain inspection results.

At IQ Plumbing Services, we offer a number of specialist services, one of which is CCTV drainage checks.

When Is A CCTV Drain Inspection Necessary?

November 11th, 2009

At IQ Plumbing Services, we pride ourselves on being one of the most professionally equipped emergency plumbers in London. For this reason, we have cutting edge technology to deal with slow running or blocked drains where the reason for the blockage is unclear. Because drains are buried deep underground, it’s not always easy to make a diagnosis.

People assume all blocked drains are caused by sink waste, toilet flushings or  garden debris finding their way into the system While these are undoubtedly the most common reason for calling out emergency plumbers, London has a very old underground drainage system which itself can often be the cause of blocked drains.

When we get a call-out for a blockage, we always listen carefully to what the home owner has to tell us – especially if the drain has suddenly blocked, or the current blockage has recurred following an earlier emergency callout. It could be that something more serious is going on, such as a cracked drainpipe or even a collapsed sewer.

This is when CCTV drain inspection becomes invaluable. If the usual methods won’t work, then it’s time to determine the exact cause and nature of the problem. A CCTV camera is remotely controlled by an operator, who observes the footage on a van monitor. He can take a close look at the problem, diagnose the cause and – in the event a repair is necessary – pinpoint exactly where digging needs to be done. This avoids a great deal of upheaval and expense for the home owner.

If you need a plumber in London, then we at IQ Plumbing Services have the equipment to deal with any problem, no matter how large or small.

Preventing Blocked Drains

November 9th, 2009

A well maintained drainage system is essential to our health and well being. However, because our drains are out of sight, we tend only to notice them when they become blocked. We forget our drains need regular maintenance in the same way other plumbing systems do.

At IQ Plumbing Services, we offer a professional service for blocked drains across London. However, it’s a much better idea to prevent drains becoming blocked in the first place.

Preventing blocked drains

Rather than call out the emergency drainage company, it’s best to prevent drain blockages in the first place.

Drains become blocked over time, as a result of waste build-up. This can be avoided by the use of sink traps in the kitchen and bathroom; not using the toilet to dispose of litter, and clearing contents from dishes before washing them. A weekly flush with hot detergent or drain cleaning fluid will then be enough to keep the pipes clear.

Causes of blocked drains

Hair, soap, food waste and cooking fat are all typical causes of blocked drains. However, if drains are not well covered then leaves, silt and litter can also cause problems, reducing the efficiency of the system by partially blocking it. In time, this will become a complete blockage.

It is far better to clear a partial blockage than a full one, so if hot water or drain cleaning fluid doesn’t increase the flow, it’s time to call a plumber. Occasionally, a blocked drain can have a more serious cause – for example, the drain may actually have collapsed.

At IQ Plumbing Services we offer a full range of drain clearance services, including the use of CCTV where the cause of the blockage is uncertain.

Why Ignoring Small Plumbing Problems Can Lead To Big Bills

November 6th, 2009

When people call out a plumber in London, it’s rarely due to routine maintenance. More often, i’’s because something that started off small has turned into something very big, very quickly – leading to an urgent call for the emergency plumbers to come out!

We at IQ Plumbing Services have emergency plumbers available throughout London. However, although we can fix any plumbing problem, from blocked drains to burst water pipes, we can’t repair the damage that’s been done. To avoid expensive property repairs, it’s essential to tackle small plumbing problems as and when they arise.

Everyone knows how to fix a leaky tap washer, right? Wrong. With today’s modern ‘designer’ taps and high water pressure systems, it’s a trickier job than it looks, and left unattended can quickly lead to a flooded bathroom. So make a conscious effort to have your tap washers replaced once a year by a qualified plumber – don’t wait for the annoying drip to start.

Emergency plumbers know that bad weather conditions inevitably mean a heavy downpour of callouts. Autumn is an essential time to check that pipes are well lagged and drains are clear. So check your drain has a cover, clear fallen leaves, use a sink trap to collect kitchen waste and flush the pipes once a week with a proprietary drain cleaner, to dissolve any congealed fat.

Don’t ignore slow draining pipes; it means a blockage has formed, and the first downpour will cause a flood. If you need a plumber in London, at IQ Plumbing Services a call we can help because routine drain clearance is just one of many jobs we tackle.

Winter Warnings

October 26th, 2009

It looks as though we’re in for a cold and wet winter this year. Householders and businesses can do a lot to help avoid the need to call out emergency plumbers. Below are some guidelines that we at IQ Plumbing Services provide our customers to help avoid winter plumbing problems.

Check the pipes in your house or business. Are they all properly insulated? This is especially important for pipes in inaccessible areas, like the loft, or unheated areas like outdoors. Insulating your pipes with inexpensive plastic foam from a home improvement store will provide protection against burst pipes and the expense of repairs.

Any water tanks in your loft should be properly insulated too. They should be covered in insulating material that fits closely the shape of the tank. This can easily become dislodged, so it’s important to check everything’s in place before the onset of winter. A burst water tank can turn a home into a disaster area. Avoid the issue by carrying out this quick, simple check.

Improve the efficiency of your heating system by using a key to vent air from your radiators. This will help ensure your home is heated evenly and effectively.

It’s also worth checking your heating in good time. Before the cold weather arrives in force, test your heating to make sure it’s working properly. If your system needs attention, it will be far more difficult to find a heating engineer during a cold spell.

Finally, if you have an outside tap, see if you can isolate it using a stop-cock inside the house. Open the tap to drain the water and leave it that way through winter.

In case you do have any trouble, be sure to have the numbers of good emergency plumbers such as ours to hand.

Who’d Be A Plumber?

October 23rd, 2009

There are a huge number of people who ply their trade as a plumber. The UK has around 20,000 plumbing businesses, and most of them operate as sole traders. A quick search on a well known Internet directory can return over 4,000 results to a query for plumbers in London. Although, like any trade, there are those who operate without any formal qualifications, many are time-served and fully qualified. What, though, does ‘fully qualified’ mean? Well, it means a great deal more than simply leaving school with a talent for wielding a spanner while storing a pencil behind your ear. You may be surprised at just how well qualified your plumber should be.

At IQ Plumbing Services, all our engineers are time served, qualified professionals, and getting to the level they’ve attained has been hard work.

Although the trade can be learned on the job, NVQ qualifications are a good indication of ability and commitment to learning a trade. At NVQ level 2 a plumber has two-years industry experience while working on the course for the same amount of time. Topics covered are drainage, water and sanitation.

A further two years at college can secure a NVQ level 3 qualification. This covers training in water regulations, system design, gas and unvented systems.

There are other routes into the profession, such as private colleges. Many of these courses though, do not result in City & Guilds NVQ certification.

So the next time you call in emergency plumbers or an emergency drainage company, ensure you call a reliable, professional engineer such as ours. You can then be confident they have skills and qualifications you can rely on.

Someone To Trust In An Emergency

October 21st, 2009

If you suddenly find yourself in need of emergency plumbers, you need to be sure you’re in touch with a professional company you can trust. You need a qualified, experienced tradesman – not an unskilled cowboy who could potentially make your problems worse.

At IQ Plumbing Services we provide all the services you’d expect from a reliable emergency drainage company. Our staff’s knowledge, experience and qualifications are your assurance of a professional and effective service. It’s possible to establish quite quickly whether you’ve made the right choice.

If a call-out fee is charged, it should reflect the time spent dealing with the issue. Anyone who charges an exorbitant fee is simply profiteering.

A reputable company will have a registered address, usually a long association with that address, and land line telephone number. If there’s no address, where can you turn if there’s a problem?

Make sure your emergency drainage company can be contacted at any time. A 24-hour help line will give you peace of mind if you have a recurring problem.

Does the plumber you’ve selected have a complaints policy if things don’t go as smoothly as you’d like?

Finally – make sure the tradesmen that carry out work for you are fully trained and qualified.

At IQ Plumbing Services we are a reputable company with over 12-years of experience, and have been one of the top emergency plumbers in London for 5 years. It pays to ensure your choice of tradesman matches the high standards we insist on.