Saturday, 19 August 2017

Keep your water inside your pipes !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, this weeks blog is a cautionary tale and I hope, as a result, you will be better informed when I've finished than you were to start with !

I refer to "control of water" in your home !

This week we've just finished a new bathroom for a customer and it pains me to say that at the beginning we spent more time than we should have putting water control isolating valves in. 

I hate "other plumbers" who don't consider this to be important. 

In this house the only way to control any water leaks that could happen would have been to turn off the main house stop cock and hope for the best, sorry, that is so not acceptable !

If you get a leak on anything, an isolator valve is vital to enable you to turn it off while maintaining water to the rest of the house.

This picture shows the control we put under the bath to enable the shower and the bath to be isolated individually in case of a leak. We've also made it easy to get the bath panel off for speedy use of these valves if necessary.

We also fitted the same to the vanity basin unit and to the W.C. unit so everything can be controlled simply and quickly should the need arise.

I was also completely dismayed to find that there was absolutely no provision for isolating and draining down the central heating. We needed to do this to move and fit a new radiator in the room

In the end we had to shut off and drain down and remove a radiator near the front door to enable us to empty the heating system to carry out our work. 

What would have happened if a pipe had gone or a leak occured ??

The entire heating system would have continued to empty itself all over house until there was no water left in it. A right mess would have followed that could have been avoided at the cost of a fiver for a valve and a drain off point.

It's a no-brainer !!
 There are always ways and means of locating isolators that are easy to get at, no matter what it is you are installing .

The isolator here is in the unit to the left of the toilet so all you need to do is open the unit door and you're straight on it.

The shower and bath isolators are in the first picture at the top.

Basically what I'm trying to do here is get you to look at anything in your home that is water fed and think to yourself .... how do I turn this off in an emergency ?? If you can't then, in my humble opinion, it's time to get someone in to make it so you can.

It is also a vitally important question to ask any tradesman who comes to your house to fit anything that operates with water. 


If he says "Oh just turn off your house stopcock" then sack him and find someone else.

I've seen first hand the damage that water can do if left unchecked, so please take a good look around your house and consider the things I've mentioned. It could save you a hell of a lot of money, upset, stress and, worse case scenario, a house that's 'unliveable in' ( not even sure that's a word ?? ) until the damage is put right. 

Top tip: 

DO NOT USE THESE !! Called a Ballfix valve, these are cheap, nasty ( cost about a quid ) and are prone to failure because the screw is not directly connected to the ball inside ( they're on a spring location ) and even if they work, you need to dash around looking for a screwdriver to turn them off, wasting valuable time.

USE THESE ! These are called a Butterfly valve and they have a built in handle that's easy to turn, ( cost about £2.50 ) and they come in blue and red, clearly identifying whether it's hot or cold water in the pipe and the ball inside is directly connected to the handle, way, way more reliable the the one above. At Milestone, we fit these automatically to everything we install and show you where they are and show you how they work !!

I hope this will help you take a good look at control in your home and know what to ask for when getting plumbing work carried out, whoever does it ! Keeping your water inside the pipe does not cost a fortune !

Spread the message around your friends and family, together we might just avert a disaster for someone your know and love. 

Stay safe. Jules

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