If you’re not a DIY enthusiast or a professional plumber, you may never have given a second thought to the water that comes out of your taps. However, when something goes wrong there’s information that you might need to have to hand to make it easier to resolve the issue.
Here’s a list of some of the essential facts and knowledge that everyone should have about the plumbing in their home or business.
Shutting of the water supply
Rather an obvious one, but it’s surprising the number of people who wouldn’t know how to shut the water off if then encountered a problem. The supply of water can normally be shut off directly at the meter; there may be two separate points, one at the meter and the other one in the house itself.
You should find out where these valves are in case you need the information in the event of an emergency; if you need to turn them, do so carefully and slowly as they may be very old and the pressure of the water may be high.
Turning Your gas supply off
Probably even more critical than knowing how to shut off your water, in the event of a gas leak you need to know how to shut off the supply without delay.
You should also make sure you understand exactly what appliances in your home are powered by gas; you may be able to shut off the supply at the individual appliance rather than at the point where it enters the building.
Know where the shut off valves are
Whether it’s a sink or a toilet, every plumbing fixture in your home will have a valve allowing you to quickly shut off the water supply to the specific location. Understanding where these valves are located could help to prevent water damage to your furnishings and property in the event of a leak.
Reading your water meter
If you’re on a water meter it’s a good idea to compare your bill with the meter to make sure you’re being invoiced for the right amount of money.
It’s also a good idea to check your water meter regularly to monitor your usage; if you see a big increase but you’re not using the water differently, it might be because you have a leak somewhere in or around your home.
Isolate water to your boiler
If your water heater breaks down, you’ll be left without hot water, but if you turn the supply off at the source, you’ll be left without any water at all. Learning how to isolate the supply of water to the heater and switch it off means that if there’s a problem with your heater, you can still have the convenience of a cold water supply for other plumbing fixtures.