Plumbing Services in Stevenage
Plumbing services in Stevenage
Plumbing is something we all have and rely on in our homes and businesses. Plumbing is there to carry water or gas in, out and around a property, but it also deals with waste products too. When plumbing isn’t fitted correctly, the damage and inconvenience can be immense. Vantage Plumbing operate in Stevenage, but also cover a much wider area, ensuring that the plumbing of domestic and commercial properties is safe, secure and works flawlessly.
Many people are quite confident that they can deal with their own plumbing requirements, after all, how difficult can it be? A pipe here and a pipe there, connected at the relevant places and you should be good to go. It’s not like you are attempting to deal with anything potentially dangerous, such as electricity. Many shy aware from DIY electrical work, because they are nervous about the potential danger, let’s face it, you can’t see electricity, but you can clearly see water, so people are more likely to have a go at plumbing themselves. Unfortunately, these facts are not going to prevent a very expensive course of events from potentially unfolding.
DIY plumbing can end up costing you more than just having to get a professional in to rectify a shoddy job. Water is one of the things that can literally destroy a property if plumbing work hasn’t been carried out professionally. Floods can happen, destroying your belongings and causing many thousands of pounds worth of damage to your home or business. Water and electricity don’t mix, so what if a leak infiltrates an electrical appliance or circuit? What if a joint fails, causing your premises to flood? Worse still, what if the plumbing failure is from a toilet? Nobody wants that sort of nightmare scenario. This is why Vantage Plumbing Services pride themselves on doing a professional job, at a competitive price, so you never feel the need to attempt some DIY plumbing and put your home or business in jeopardy. We specialise in all aspects of plumbing in Stevenage and surrounding areas, from general plumbing, to more specialised plumbing
You may think that plumbing is simply a matter of getting the right pipe work, connectors and tools, but there really is a lot more to it than that.
Getting the right fall or angle on pipe work is essential to prevent back flow and potential flooding and the risk of a leak or a pipe burst are always increased when someone without the requisite experience attempts to perform their own plumbing repairs or replacements. requirements.
What is general plumbing?
General plumbing is probably the most popular service we provide in Stevenage and is at the heart of most of the work we carry out. After all, it’s always best to address a potential problem before it becomes a serious one. In short, prevention is better than cure! General plumbing often includes the maintenance of existing plumbing and often entails small adjustments or fixes to keep your essential facilities operating as they should. Calling in a professional plumbing company to carry out checks, install fixtures and conduct plumbing repairs, you are reducing the possibility of bigger, more urgent and costly plumbing problems further down the line.
General plumbing can cover anything from fitting a shower in the bathroom or wet room and replacing valves and gaskets in toilet cisterns to repairing pipes and replacing radiators. General plumbing covers everything from major plumbing works that call for a professional, to those small jobs such as a dripping tap.
A dripping tap may not cause much of a hazard, but over time, it can become a bigger problem. A drip will get worse and it is the first sign that something is wrong with the washer or seal within a tap. Not only is the noise from a dripping tap infuriating, in time you will end up with lime scale streaks that are difficult to remove and it’s scary when one realises just how many litres of water are wasted in just one day from a slowly dripping tap.
General plumbing also involves regular plumbing maintenance, where we use our knowledge of plumbing and gas regulations and standards to ensure your home or business satisfies these stringent requirements.
Renting or owner occupier in Stevenage
Whether you own your Stevenage property or rent it from a housing association or the local council, you will require plumbing services at some point. You may be asking yourself why a council or housing association tenant would want to engage a private plumber, when their landlord is responsible for the property. Well, they possibly wouldn’t if it was a major job, but many small plumbing jobs make it a pain to have to take a day off of work to let a social housing plumber in to conduct the repair or replacement. Not only that, but it may take several weeks to get a visit as the landlord may have to deal with hundreds, if not thousands of repair requests every week, so there may be a substantial delay in getting the work carried out. An example could be a toilet cistern that is continually running. Now, this is a nuisance and should there be a blockage, the toilet could easily overflow, causing untold damage and misery. Rather than waiting and having to take time out of work for the repair to be carried out by the housing services contractor, many will opt for a private plumber to call and carry out the repair or replacement. Stevenage is a rather large town, so it may take a while to get a visit from the housing maintenance team of your local council or housing association.
Most common areas for plumbing in the home
The kitchen is the first place you would expect to find a plumbing system. The kitchen has hot and cold water and gas to service a boiler and a cooker.
Quite often the kitchen’s plumbing can be hidden in the walls. Plumbing that is concealed in the walls is the sort of job that is always best left to the professional plumbers. The kitchen tends to be the place where the rising main of a house is located. This will be the water source with the highest amount of pressure and the rest of the property will be served by this water feed.
Bathrooms can often be a problem when it comes to lack of water pressure. They are usually upstairs and are frequently supplied with water from a tank in the loft or situated in a high cupboard. People quite often rely on electrical pumps to boost the water pressure to a shower, putting greater pressure on the pipes and joints, making it even more important to get a professional job done in the first place.
Emergency plumbing in Stevenage
Of course, not all plumbing work in Stevenage is going to be simple maintenance or replacement of fixtures and fittings. From time to time, there will be a genuine emergency that requires swift attention to prevent serious damage or loss to property.
Most plumbing emergencies tend to be the result of letting small problems become larger ones. This is why you should never put off getting a qualified plumber in to rectify a small plumbing issue. There are some small plumbing jobs that can be tackled by the homeowner such as unblocking a toilet with a plunger, but attempting to cure larger issues can make the problem far worse if they are attempted by someone who is not a fully trained plumber.
We recognise that with the push fit pipe system and there ease of purchase from DIY stores, many people will have a go at their own plumbing jobs. Although some of these plumbing systems can be quite good, you still need to know what you are doing unless you want a very wet home that could cost you a small fortune to dry out again.
Not only will there be emergency repairs for water pipes, the gas supply to your house can become damaged too. A spot of overzealous and careless vacuuming can damage a floor level gas pipe, leading to a potentially dangerous gas leak in the home.
Prevention is better than cure
One of the best ways a home owner can prevent plumbing problems from becoming expensive jobs that require emergency call outs is by carrying out a few regular maintenance check throughout the home to spot any sign of leaks or plumbing damage.
A dripping tap which is left unchecked is not only really irritating for anyone; it also contributes to a major source of water loss.
Dripping taps can waste hundreds of gallons of water a year which escalates your water bill as well as contributing to environmental issues of water wastage.
The major cause of leaking taps is usually worn washers which become damaged or dislodged over a period of time. Replacing a washer is a simple job if you have the correct tools, but many DIY attempts at changing a washer can result in damaging the surrounding plumbing, often meaning that a simple job can become an emergency plumbing call out.
For leaks which have been left for a long period without being fixed, the valve seat can become corroded which will require a professional to repair it correctly.
Some sinks use ceramic plates instead of rubber washers as a seal to hold back water. If these plates become damaged, it will require a more complex solution to fix.
Reduced water pressure
This is a major gripe in large towns such as Stevenage. When there are more people using the water supply, the pressure available is bound to drop. A few years ago, it was quite possible to water the other end of your garden with a jet from a garden hose, whereas today, the jet is unlikely to reach a quarter of that distance. If you notice that your water flow has diminished from your taps then your home will be suffering from low water pressure. Apart from more people in a given area using the water supply, the most common cause of low water pressure in your plumbing is sediment that has built up in the aerators in your taps. Other instances of low water pressure may be the result of a leakage from a damaged pipe, which is often underground and difficult to spot.
The build up of sediment is caused by the influx of dissolved minerals which enter your plumbing through the water supply. These minerals begin to accumulate on metal surfaces within your water system and create an obstacle to water flow within your water taps and showerheads.
Homes with filtration systems installed will easily collect these deposits which can be removed when you change the filter. You can also inspect your sink taps and showerheads which can be removed for easy cleaning. Soaking the aerator or showerhead overnight in vinegar or a good lime scale remover is the easiest method to removing the calcium build ups which can cause the clogging. The new laser cut shower heads that claim to increase water pressure by two hundred percent are very quick to clog, sometimes putting extra strain on pipe work that could lead to a burst and an emergency call out.
If, after cleaning your showerhead or tap aerators, you still experience low water pressure then there may be a more significant plumbing problem that requires the attention of a professional plumber. If there is a leak from a water pipe in your home, it can cause expensive damage to your property and you should call out an emergency plumber to attend to it. Keep an eye out for soggy areas within your garden or a section of lawn that is greener and grows much faster than elsewhere, as this may indicate an underground leak.
A constantly running toilet
A running toilet is a very common plumbing problem which can usually be fixed pretty easily before you require the services of a plumber. A running toilet is usually the result of one of an imbalanced float, a loose fill tube or another faulty valve in the cistern. If you are not confident in tackling such a job, or you don’t have the correct tools, always call upon the services of a qualified plumber to avoid an emergency call out.
General plumbing leaks
By regularly inspecting your plumbing for leaks you can avoid the need for an emergency plumber to call, and let’s face it, emergencies nearly always seem to occur during the night and therefore outside normal business hours. If you detect a wet patch or puddle then you may have a leaking pipe. Crumbling, weak or darker coloured plaster can also be a tell tale sign of a leak. You can sometimes temporarily repair a leaking pipe with joint filler or a fitting compound, but this often causes you to forget about the leak and the temporary fix will not last very long. Get it fixed professionally and in good time to avoid the headache of an emergency call out.
If you do find a leak that isn’t gushing, you may be able to temporarily contain the leak from causing further damage by using leak tape or a rubber sheet with a clamp to hold it until a professional emergency plumber arrives, but don’t delay in making that call.
Slow draining or blocked drains
This is something that plagues us all from time to time. Maybe it has been caused by a gradual build up of fat that has solidified in the pipe work, or maybe it is a mixture of soap scum and human hair clogging up the drain. If you discover that your sink, toilet or bathtub is becoming slow to drain then there may be an obstacle causing a blockage in your drain.
There are a number of clever little gadgets for clearing drain and plug hole blockages. You may find that simply emptying a kettle full of boiling water does the trick. You may be able to use a plunger to try and fix the problem temporarily but plungers are often not a permanent fix and the pump type that force compressed air down the hole have been known to blow pies apart at the joints if enough pressure is forced and the blockage is serious enough. You can also use drain clearing products to try and remove the blockage. Be aware that blockage products often contain caustic materials that can cause damage to the plumbing if used too often.
What is a plumbing emergency?
Different people will class different plumbing issues as an emergency; however, a plumbing emergency is generally identified as an issue with your plumbing system that prevents you from cooking, washing, or staying safe in your own home or business.
Is your Stevenage home covered for emergency plumbing repairs?
The chances are that you probably will be covered for emergency plumbing work for the bigger jobs, assuming that you have an insurance policy of course. The majority of home insurance policies will provide emergency plumbing cover for issues such as burst pipes or water leaks. However, it may not cover smaller jobs such as blocked toilets and sinks, or the rectification of any amateur plumbing work, so always have work carried out by a professional.
Should your boiler have a leak, whether it is water or gas, this may not constitute an emergency repair, as the boiler could be turned off and any water isolated. However, should you not be able to isolate the gas or water for whatever reason, it would become an emergency. Stop valves for the rising main water are notorious for seizing up, as they are rarely turned to keep them freely moving. We always suggest that you turn your mains supply off and on at least a couple of times a year and never turn the tap fully on, always turn it back by at least a quarter of a turn. Remember though that if there is any significant damage to the boiler, this would require an immediate emergency plumbing repair before it becomes irreparable.
Be prepared to pay a little extra for an emergency plumber
Regardless of where you live, emergency plumbers provide a 24-hour emergency plumbing service which tends to cost more than their general plumbing services. This is because they are typically called outside office hours and frequently during the night. Emergency plumbers have to work quickly to correct the problem.
The history behind plumbing
Essentially, plumbing is any system that conveys fluids for a wide range of applications. Plumbing uses pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other apparatuses to convey fluids from one place to another. Waste removal, and potable water delivery are among the most common uses for plumbing, but it is not limited to these applications. The word actually derives from the Latin for lead, plumbum, as the first effective pipes used in the Roman era were lead pipes. Today, we rely on effective plumbing for good health and sanitation.
Plumbing originated during ancient civilisations, as they developed public baths and needed to provide potable water and wastewater removal for larger numbers of people as populations grew.
The Mesopotamians introduced the world to clay sewer pipes around 4000 BCE, with the earliest examples found in the Temple of Bel at Nippur and at Eshnunna, used to remove wastewater from sites, and capture rainwater, in wells. The city of Uruk contains the oldest known examples of brick constructed Latrines, constructed atop interconnecting fired clay sewer pipes, c. 3200 BCE. Clay pipes were later used in the Hittite city of Hattusa. They had easily detachable and replaceable segments, and allowed for cleaning.
Standardised earthen plumbing pipes with broad flanges making use of asphalt for preventing leakages appeared in the urban settlements of the Indus Valley civilization by 2700 BC.
Copper piping appeared in Egypt by 2400 BCE, with the Pyramid of Sahure and adjoining temple complex at Abusir, found to be connected by a copper waste pipe.
We already know that the word ‘plumbing’ is derived from the Roman word for lead, and Roman roofs used lead in conduits and drain pipes and some were also covered with lead. Lead was also used for piping and for making baths.
Plumbing reached its early apex in ancient Rome, which saw the introduction of large systems of aqueducts, tile wastewater removal, and widespread use of lead pipes. The Romans used lead pipe inscriptions to prevent water theft. With the Fall of Rome both water supply and sanitation either stopped or got worse for the next thousand years or so. Improvement was very slow, with little effective progress made until the growth of modern densely populated cities in the 1800s. During this period, public health authorities began pressing for better waste disposal systems to be installed, to prevent or control epidemics of disease. Earlier, the waste disposal system had consisted of collecting waste and throwing it on the ground or into a river. The streets of large cities would be awash with raw effluent, with either shallow open gulley’s to carry the waste away to a nearby water course, or people would simply hope the rain would wash it away. Eventually the development of separate, underground water and sewage systems eliminated open sewage ditches and cesspools.
Most large cities today pipe solid wastes to sewage treatment plants in order to separate and partially purify the water, before emptying into streams or other bodies of water. For potable water use, galvanized iron piping was commonplace in the United States from the late 1800s until around 1960. After that period, copper piping took over, first soft copper with flared fittings, then with rigid copper tubing using soldered fittings.
The use of lead for potable water declined sharply after World War II because of increased awareness of the dangers of lead poisoning. At this time, copper piping was introduced as a better and safer alternative to lead pipes.
General or emergency plumbing services in Stevenage
Clearly, plumbing materials and technology has come a long way since the time of the Romans, but should you require any general plumbing carried out, maintenance to your existing plumbing system or want a completely new kitchen or bathroom suite plumbed in, why not drop us a line at Vantage Plumbing? We also offer an emergency call out service for when time is of the essence. Don’t trust your plumbing system to anyone else. Vantage Plumbing Services have been operating in the Stevenage area for several years and have a vast catalogue of satisfied customers and many are willing to provide testimonials as to the quality of our work.