Tip 1: Read the Sealant Labels closely
Ever wondered why your bathroom tiles are going black behind the silicone? It may be down to the choice of product that’s been used. There are a lot of sealants to choose from – all look very similar, so it’s not that easy to decipher which will and won’t do the job. A professional-choice sealant such as Bartoline or Everbuild, will have the proper adhesive allowing you to apply it effectively and give you a sealed finish. Plus, it’s impregnated with fungicide so it will stop or delay that black fungus creeping in. It also has a best-before date on it so you ensure the consistency isn’t too runny or too firm.
Tip 2: How to prepare and maintain your silicone sealant
Tip 3: How to easily get a consistently warm shower
Does your shower drive you mad by inconsistently running between hot & cold? What may surprise you is that it might not actually be due to your plumbing but could instead be your showerhead. If the showerhead is clogged up with limescale or has a poorly designed spray plate it may not allow enough water to flow through it for the electric shower to work properly. An electric shower can’t always cope with a small amount of water flow so it ends up overheating, then switching off, making your water hot then cold, hot then cold. Invest in a decent shower head and you may find this problem magically disappears!
Tip 4: Get one plumbing tool that will do it all
Don’t feel that you can justify owning a plumber’s entire tool kit? The Universal Tool Key may be the answer. It’ll open up your meter box, it has two sizes of quick spin spanner (to use on a pump union valve or for any valve that doesn’t have a head on it), and has an internal key that works on many types of taps. It also has a flat head on it so you can put a spanner across it to give you extra leverage if it’s a bit tight. It’s the plumber & heating engineer’s trade secret.
Tip 5: The latest in pipe technology will future proof your plumbing
Make your life easier in the future by using a Flexible Tap Connector when installing a basin, taps or even a toilet cistern. In the last few years plumbers have been switching from rigid copper pipes to these flexible connectors. They fix directly from the taps to the pipe and incorporate an isolation valve which enables you to change a washer or a cartridge on a tap without having to shut off the main water to the entire house. It also bends and flexes to fit any space or shape so there’s no cutting or joining required.
Tip 6: Don’t skimp on materials, or you may pay through the nose
If you choose to do a plumbing and heating job yourself, then choose your materials wisely. You may assume that for something quite generic, like a waste pipe, one is as good as the next. But in research, professionals say that even they would struggle with some of the pipes they come across on the high street. When it comes to plumbing tools & materials quality is essential, otherwise you’re instantly putting yourself at a disadvantage, and may find you pay twice the price to have a professional come and fix your mistakes.
Safety first. Whenever you do DIY, remember to take a bit of time to make sure you wear the right clothes and use safety gear. First of all the lady of the house is likely to murder you if you get oil or grease over your new jeans or on a decent jumper! Wear old clothes or invest in a cheap set for your DIY time. Secondly always have a pack of face masks handy and don’t be afraid to use them! They will reduce fumes from paints and sealants which can make you feel sick and dizzy. Whenever there will be dust in the air use a mask – building materials in dust can irritate airways really easily and some can do permanent damage. Thirdly; any time you use a power tool you should wear eye protection. Hot drill bits and fling bits of wood and metal shards can do real damage and also cause a lot of discomfort. Goggles and gloves are only a few quid so engage your brain and put them on before you start work.
Thanks to DIYDirect (diydirect.com) for providing us with these tips. They are a new online retailer that sells thousands of professional-choice #DIY items, at trade prices, to the general public.