Most households will be very lucky to go through life without ever needing an emergency plumber, and when we rely on running water and working plumbing for so many day to day tasks, it’s vital to find a good plumber you can trust. Even if the situation isn’t an emergency; there are plenty of reasons why you might need to call in a professional to help you fix a problem. Many people have experienced the stress of trying to fix a burst water pipe or blocked drain themselves, getting stressed and messy in the process before giving in and calling an expert anyway. So save yourself valuable time and energy, and read on for 5 reasons you might need to call out a local plumber.

Blocked Drains

Blocked drains are a pain, and can be particularly unpleasant if dirty water is backing up into your sink, shower or bath. If the drain is outside the most likely cause of the blockage is dead leaves, sticks or other outdoor debris. Indoor blockages are usually caused by food particles or a build up of grease (in the case of kitchen sinks), or excess hair, soap residue or non-biodegradable items flushed down the toilet if the bathroom drains are the issue. In many households the drains are connected, so flushing wet wipes or similar down the loo can lead to water gurgling up through your sink or bath plughole.

Mild blockages can usually be dealt with yourself using a plunger, soda crystals or bleach, however if the water is rapidly rising or the blockage is affecting all the drains in the house (or a crucial one like the bath or kitchen sink) then it’s a good idea to call out a plumber. Blocked drains that are left too long can lead to unpleasant odours, leaking ceilings or damage to electrical fittings and wires. A plumber will have several methods available to clear the blockage, including a sewer machine (or plumber’s ‘snake’), cameras to locate exactly where the blockage is, and powerful water jets to flush out the build up. A lot of plumbing services are reluctant to use chemicals, as potent drain cleaners can dissolve the clog but also wear away at the pipes themselves. They are also very toxic, so it’s likely that a lot of families wouldn’t want these harmful chemicals used in their home.

Once the plumber has solved your drain issue, there are a few things you can do to prevent further build up in the future. Buy a drain cover to catch excess hair in the bath or shower, dispose of cooking grease in the bin rather than down the sink, and make sure you only flush toilet paper, not baby wipes or sanitary products.

Burst Water Pipe

A burst water pipe definitely counts as an emergency, and in this case it’s best to call a 24 hour plumber straight away. You can minimise the damage by turning off the water supply, heating systems and electrics, then call a professional to assess and repair the damage as soon as possible. The most common cause of burst pipes is when the temperature drops; cold weather causes the water to freeze and expand, rupturing the pipe. This is more common in buildings with old or weakened pipes, but extreme temperatures can cause burst pipes at any time. An emergency plumber will isolate the cause, repair the damage and get you back up and running as soon as possible.

Burst pipes can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage to your property and home, so it’s vital to call a plumber as soon as possible. You can reduce the chance of burst pipes during the cold season by adding pipe lagging to any pipes in unheated areas, leaving the central heating on low as much as possible and repair any leaks or dripping taps before the temperatures drop.

Leaking Faucet

There are few sounds more irritating than a dripping tap, and those tiny drops of water actually add up to an awful lot of water waste if not repaired quickly. It might seem unnecessary to call a plumber for such a small leak, however if it isn’t dealt with, a dripping faucet can lead to more extensive water damage. Similarly, in many instances trying to dismantle the faucet yourself can lead to water blasting everywhere if you don’t know what the issue is causing the leak.

The most common causes of a leaking faucet are a loose or worn out O-ring (attached to the screw that holds the faucet in place), a corroded valve seat or a worn out washer. The latter is usually the issue, however badly fitted washers or installing one that isn’t the right size can exacerbate the problem, so it’s always best to get a professional plumber to install one for you. As a general rule, washers need to be replaced every 8 to 10 years, so consider replacing around this time even if there are no current problems – prevention is always better than cure.

Central Heating Repair

With the cold weather already taking hold, it’s vital that you have a working boiler, hot water and central heating system. This isn’t the sort of thing that can be fixed yourself, so it’s always worth making a call to a local plumber or central heating engineer. As well as relying on central heating to warm our homes or take a hot shower, if you own a gas cooker then a broken boiler can be an absolute nightmare. In some cases the boiler and hot water might be functioning normally but the central heating is not; this is usually due to the settings on your boiler and heating system, or because a component of the boiler is broken. The most likely broken component is the diverter valve, which switches the heat between the water and central heating systems. It is not advisable to try replacing this yourself unless you are an experienced engineer, so stay safe and call in a professional.

It’s important to maintain the central heating in your home, not only for your own comfort but because a cold home can lead to damp, mould or burst pipes, as mentioned above. Companies such as Prestige Plumbers in Southampton will be able to carry out central heating repairs, as well as installation, new parts and pipework. They also provide 24/7 emergency plumbers who specialize in central heating, and can restore or replace any make or model of central heating system to keep your home cosy all year round.

Washing Machine Installation

There are several times in life when you will need a washing machine installed, perhaps you are moving to a new property, the old machine has broken down, or your family has grown in size and you need an upgrade. There are plenty of tutorials online about how to install one yourself, but for peace of mind we would always recommend hiring a professional, especially if you need to install a machine in a new property. There are a lot more steps than you might think when it comes to installing a washing machine, and sadly it isn’t a case of plugging it in and being ready to go! Transit bolts which hold the washing machine in place during delivery need to be unscrewed, and it can be tricky trying to retrieve the casings which often fall inside the machine. A base then has to be screwed down and levelled, the fill hose attached to the machine and then screwed in under the sink (which, again can be very fiddly). The drain pipe also has to be installed, not to mention moving the heavy the washing machine into place – but luckily a professional plumber can do all this for you with no fuss.

If you need a reliable, affordable plumber for any of the above reasons, Prestige Plumbers can help. Serving Southampton and the surrounding areas, we’re trained to deal with a range of issues including burst pipes, shower installations, central heating repairs, pipe rerouting and much more. We also have a dedicated team of emergency plumbers available 24 hours a day, including central heating engineers who specialise in fixing your heating issues. Able to cater to domestic or business plumbing requirements, visit our website today and see how the friendly team could help you.