Caring for your Plumbing Fittings

December 24th, 2009

We at IQ Plumbing Services operate as emergency plumbers for a variety of tasks, from collapsed drains to leaking tap washers. A leaking washer can become a high powered jet if left unattended – more than one of our emergency plumbers has been called to a serious flood which started as a tedious leaky tap.

Plumbing fittings are the taps and valves of the system. Despite the use they get, they will generally last a lifetime. Any problems are usually down to the washers – but this is not always the simple task that it sounds. Modern fittings come in all shapes and sizes, all of which must be familiar to a plumber. London properties are often fitted with sleek designer faucets that can catch out the unwary.

The best fittings are chrome plated brass, which are easily cleaned with detergent and water. However, there have been cases where corrosion has occurred due to the wrong cleaners being used.

Seized-up, polished brass fittings are another reason for calling out emergency plumbers. London property owners love the period look, which works beautifully in older properties, but abrasive cleaners should never be used.

If your bathroom is very “high tech” and it develops a problem, this needs to be taken into account when calling out an emergency plumber. London is full of plumbers who are unfamiliar with the latest 21st century hardware. Luckily, you can always trust us at IQ Plumbing Services to have full, up-to-date knowledge on all of the latest technological advances.

The importance of routine Plumbing Maintenance

December 9th, 2009

The plumbing system is the most important component of any house and therefore should be regularly maintained, yet it would seem that water pipes are generally ignored until they burst, cause a leak and ultimately result in a panicked call to the emergency plumbers.

London property owners may not even be aware that water leakages are one of the prime reasons for water rates being so high. Perhaps if this knowledge were more widespead, it would encourage more care being taken in general plumbing maintenence.

A house with sound plumbing and drainage demands a much higher sale value than one in which these areas are in poor repair, yet many plumbers in London only recieve calls when the property is about to go on the market.

There are many routine jobs that the home owner can take resposibility of to maintain that plumbing is in optimum condition. When left unattended, they lead to calls for emergency plumbers. London has numerous DIY stores and home plumbing outlets, so it is easier than people assume to take care of your plumbing. While some things are best left to the experts, there are plenty of jobs which are easily tackled with just a few basic tools and a good knowledge.

Clogged drains, dripping taps and leaking flush valves are annoying plumbing defects that are usually ignored unless they suddenly get a lot worse, yet they can waste money and cause failure of other systems such as the boiler if left untreated.

We at IQ Plumbing Services have years of experience when it comes to dealing with emergencies that are often preventable. Our emergency plumbers understand that London property owners don’t have the time to constantly check every pipe and valve, which is why they recommend maintenance contracts and are happy to offer help and advice.

Minimum Qualifications For A Plumber in London

November 27th, 2009

It isn’t until someone tries to tackle a plumbing job themselves, that they realise what a highly skilled job plumbing is. Over the years the technology has become increasingly advanced, and we have to keep up to date with all aspects of the trade.

At IQ Plumbing Services we employ some of the best emergency plumbers in London. All are experienced in many different areas, and are fully qualified to City and Guilds level and beyond.

As a minimum qualification, a plumber in London must hold the City and Guilds NVQ level 2 certificate or equivalent. This gives students the knowledge, skills and certifications they need to work competently on modern domestic plumbing systems.

By using C and G qualified emergency plumbers in London, homeowners can be assured they are getting the services of highly qualified and council accredited professionals.  As well as a general technical certificate, the C and G course includes qualifications in:

•    Domestic copper pipework installation

•    Sanitary installation and maintenance

•    Water Supply Regulations 1999: It is illegal to work on the UK water supply without this, but following certification, students can register as a plumber with their local authority.

•    Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems – enabling plumbers to work on modern high pressure systems without storage tanks.

•    Power and gravity fed shower systems

•     Domestic electrical installer defined scope part p certificate. This is now also an essential qualification for emergency plumbers in London, as without it they are unable to work on any system where electricity is employed.

•    First aid and health and safety certificates

If you are looking for qualified emergency plumbers in London, those we employ at IQ Plumbing Services have undergone hundreds of hours of training to ensure they offer a first rate service to our customers.

What To Do If You Get A Burst Water Pipe

November 25th, 2009

We at IQ Plumbing Services anticipate a lot of emergency plumbers in London will be kept busy this year, dealing with burst water pipes. Here we give a few tips on how to avoid becoming a casualty – and what to do if you are.

1. Thoroughly lag all exposed water pipes both inside and out. If the lagging is old – replace it.

2. Emergency plumbers in London are called throughout the year because of old, worn-out pipes. Check yours carefully, especially if you live in an old property. If the pipes are rusty, brittle or corroded – replace them before the weather forces you to!

3. If you’re going away, leave the central heating ticking over. At IQ Plumbing Services, our emergency plumbers are most often called out to cold houses where the owner has, quite suddenly, decided to “warm it up a bit.”

But what if, despite all this, you get a burst pipe anyway? Here’s how to keep safe and minimise damage:

1. It’s essential that, the moment a burst pipe is suspected, you turn off the water supply. Make sure you know where the stopcock is, before you have to find it in a hurry.

2. Locate the leak. If the flow continues, it means the problem is in the cold water storage system, rather than the main supply. It is getting rarer to find homes with water tanks these days, but if you have one it’s probable this is where the problem is. You’ll need to empty it by turning on all the taps in the house.

3. Switch off the electricity to avoid possible electric shock. This also ensures the boiler is switched off, safeguarding you from explosion as the hot water is drained.

4. Call the emergency plumbers – London’s got plenty to choose from! We at IQ Plumbing Services will come out straight away, repairing the pipe to a high level of craftsmanship at very reasonable cost.

The Way To Avoid Burst Water Pipes

November 23rd, 2009

Even though London streets are warmer than they used to be, the nights are just as cold. This means that emergency plumbers in London are going to be kept busy dealing with burst pipes this winter.

A common time for a burst to happen is after you’ve come home to a cold house and switched the heating on. The pipes may not have even been frozen, but the sudden difference in expansion and contraction rates is enough to cause a break, especially in old pipes. Well lagged pipes keep all the pipes at an ambient temperature, reducing this risk.

But winter isn’t the only time you may need the plumber. London homes often have old, deteriorating and brittle water pipes that can suddenly burst just through being worn out. They weren’t designed to take today’s high pressures, either.

We at IQ Plumbing Services are kept busy throughout the year, sending our emergency plumbers to London’s older homes.

However, a major cause of callouts for emergency plumbers in London this winter is through cold or frozen pipes, so minimise the risk of a burst by making sure your interior and exterior pipes are lagged in all unheated areas. If the lagging is powdery or old, it has lost its insulation properties – so replace it.

If you’re planning a short break, make sure the central heating is timed to switch on for a short period morning and night. This will help prevent a nasty surprise. However, if the worst does happen, and you need emergency plumbers in a hurry, we at IQ Plumbing Services will offer a fast, effective and affordable service.

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.