Showers & Bathrooms

 

Bathroom Repairs - How To Fix Blockages & Leaks

A blocked toilet or sink can cause considerable problems, and should be dealt with as soon as the problem becomes apparent.  Leaking pipes should also be fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage occurring, which could result in more costly repairs.

How To Unblock A Sink
Using a chemical cleaner is one way to tackle a blockage.  Because of the harsh chemicals involved, if you choose to use this method, take care to wear protective gloves and ensure there’s adequate ventilation for the fumes.  Most chemical cleaners designed to unblock sinks are caustic and generally contain sodium hydroxide.  Follow the instructions on the packaging.  Generally, only a small amount of cleaner is required.  This needs to be poured down the plughole and left for a certain length of time before you can wash it through the system with water.  Avoid using a chemical-based cleaner if you have a septic tank drainage system.  Instead, you could use a bacteria-based treatment.  Whatever method you choose, for health and safety reasons, always follow the manufacturer instructions.

Another option that avoids the use of harsh chemicals is to use a plunger.  To do this effectively, it’s necessary to create an airlock, by pushing an old rag or cloth into the overflow outlet.  Then put the plunger over the plughole.  Move the handle repeatedly up and down.  The suction pressure should be sufficient to loosen the blockage.

How To Unblock A Toilet
If you’ve got a plunger with a large enough head to fit over the opening in the toilet bowl, you can use that to remove blockages, in the same way you would unblock a sink.  Or, you could use an auger.  To use this method, pull out the spring section of the auger until it’s about the right length to extend round the u-bend.  Push it into the u-bend and then turn the handle.

How To Repair Leaking Pipes
Often, resealing a threaded joint (by wrapping some polytetrafluoroethylene tape around the threaded section), or tightening the nuts of a compression joint with a spanner, can stop a supply pipe from dripping.  However, if these simple repairs don’t work, you may need to replace a section of pipe. 

Another situation where you will need to replace a pipe is if you accidentally hammer a nail through a water pipe.  If this happens, it’s important to turn off the water supply as soon as possible.  In an emergency, where it’s necessary to stop the pipe from leaking everywhere, you could try inserting a screw into the puncture hole, using one with a thread that’s slightly wider than the hole, to attempt to seal the hole.  Once you’ve switched off the water, cut out the relevant section of pipe, using a hacksaw.  Undo a compression joint and slip one section and the olive (small ring) onto the pipe on one side of the damaged section.  Do the same on the other side and then cut out a length of pipe to fill the gap.  Match up the corresponding sections of the compression joint and ensure it’s a tight fit, using an adjustable spanner.  If you find your pipe isn’t flexible enough to move apart, you plastic piping and adaptors instead.