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Top Plumbing Tips

The following tips may help you to reduce the risk of a plumbing emergency and could save you from unnecessary expense and distress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
What diameter and depth of seal should my traps have?

Answer:
Building Regulations state that appliances that are connected to a soil pipe should comply with the following table.

Appliance Diameter of Trap (mm) Depth of Seal (mm of water)
Wash basin* 32 75
Bidet 32 75
Bath ** 40 50
Shower ** 40 50
Sink 40 75
Food Waste
Disposal Unit
40 75
Urinal Bowl 40 75
Washing Machine 40 75
Dish Washing
Machine
40 75

* The depth of seal may be reduced to 50mm if basin is fitted with spray taps and a flush grated waste without a plug.
** Where these appliances discharge directly to a gully the depth of seal may be reduced to not less than 38mm.

Question:
Why do I get dirty water from the sink in my washing machine?
Answer:
Check that hose discharge from washing Machine loops up above the minimum height as specified by the machine manufacturer and at least to the underside of the work top for an inset sink before connecting into the sink trap.
Question:
When should I use an anti-syphon or re-sealing trap?
Answer:
Generally when the waste pipe or discharge pipe from an appliance is beyond the limitations of an un-vented waste pipe. Usually more critical on basin and bidet wastes.
Question:
What is the difference between an anti-syphon trap and a re-sealing trap?
Answer:
A re-sealing is designed to allow air to pass through the water seal under negative pressure but will retain sufficient water to ensure the minimum depth of seal is retained. Whereas an anti siphon trap has a small mechanical valve, which opens under negative pressure. Both versions will break the syphonic action thus protecting the water seal. Note. the re-sealing trap may be noisy.
Question:
Can I connect my condense drain from my boiler to a rain water pipe?
Answer:
It depends on where the rain water pipe is discharging. Condense is acidic and should only be discharged via plastic pipe into a foul drain. Where this is not possible it may be discharged into a special soakaway that contains lime chippings to neutralise the acidity.
Question:
Can I fit an air admittance valve outside?
Answer:
Ventapipe valves are designed for and only allowed for installation internally.
Question:
Can I fit my air admittance valve horizontally?
Answer:
Ventapipe valves should only be installed vertically.
Question:
What is PTFE Tape?
Answer:
PTFE is a thin white tape, that is wrapped around pipe threads (usually on radiator tails tapered threads, or occasionally on an olive that is giving trouble), to stop leaks and seepage. Wrap in direction the part or cap-nut turns.
Question:
What is a Thermostatic Radiator Valve.
Answer:
As its name implies, it is a radiator valve, but it incorporates an internal thermostat, so that the temperature of the individual radiator, and therefore that specific room, can be better controlled. It is commonly abbreviated to "TRV". Because of the control knob and integrated thermostatic mechanism, they are quite a bit larger than a standard valve.