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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 31st May 05, 1:56 PM
    • 8,111Posts
    • 42,247Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Free Personal Plumbing Info.
    • #1
    • 31st May 05, 1:56 PM
    Free Personal Plumbing Info. 31st May 05 at 1:56 PM
    Plumbing is too expensive. Especially as some of it, but not all, can be done ourselves. So to help out Ian Puddick (media plumber - ie he appears doing plumbing on some radio & TV progs!) has agreed to answer your questions on here for free.

    (QUICK NOTE: My throw away line in the tip about plumbers charging a fortune has offended some. So let me say yes there are some rip-off plumbers, but there are of course good guys too. Apologies if i offended the latter!)

    Of course there's never something for nothing, so I have agreed to tell you that his website is well fair is fair and it lets you know who you're dealing with.

    How does it work?

    Click reply to ask your question, and then over the next few days, Ian will come along at various times and answer as many as he can.

    Please do not get into discussion on this thread (all off topic posts will be deleted) this is simply for asking questions.

    What type of questions?

    Anything on plumbing, though of course sometimes there will be things only someone qualified should do.

    Personally I want to know "how do you find your stopcock?"

    The Obligatory Disclaimer

    This is a thread for info, questions and general discussion. Before taking any action you should always ensure it is correct for you in your circumstances. Neither nor Ian Puddick take any responsibility or are liable for any accidents, problems or damage cause by correctly or incorrectly using the information in this thread.

    IMPORTANT UPDATE 18 June 2005

    There was such huge demand for this, with so many questions, we've turned the Q&A into a full article

    To read the answers go to Plumbing MasterClass: sort your pipes out for free!
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 15-06-2005 at 7:21 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 1
    • Fran
    • By Fran 31st May 05, 2:07 PM
    • 11,011 Posts
    • 6,465 Thanks
    • #2
    • 31st May 05, 2:07 PM
    • #2
    • 31st May 05, 2:07 PM
    Personally I want to know "how do you find your stopcock?"
    by MSE Martin
    Sincere apologies on such a useful thread but...

    Hi Ian,

    I have 2 extremely noisy toilets when they flush. As my bedroom is right next door to one, I would love to know if there's a way to shut them up!
    Torgwen.......... ...........

    I'm a volunteer Board Guide on Techie, Benefits & Employment, Energy, Small biz & Charities and Redundancy boards to help them run smoothly & I can move posts & threads but don't read them all. Dealing with illegal or inappropriate posts is not part of my role. Please report them to Views are mine not official MoneySavingExpert ones.
  • Howells
    • #3
    • 31st May 05, 2:08 PM
    • #3
    • 31st May 05, 2:08 PM
    Hi Ian,

    Recently, our water from the upstairs bathroom has started to smell and taste stale. Does the cold water tank need cleaning? If so, what with?

    The water from the kitchen tap (direct from mains) is fine.

    • heatherw_01
    • By heatherw_01 31st May 05, 2:37 PM
    • 5,043 Posts
    • 3,632 Thanks
    • #4
    • 31st May 05, 2:37 PM
    • #4
    • 31st May 05, 2:37 PM
    I am getting a new bathroom suite installed but my current toilet has a pathetic flush. Is there something I should make sure when buying a new suite?

    Also, my current bath moves a lot. I would prefer a acrylic bath but do these always move more?
    I'm the Board Guide on Quick Grabbit, Freebies, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning and the UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of
    • robnye
    • By robnye 31st May 05, 3:06 PM
    • 5,332 Posts
    • 1,121 Thanks
    • #5
    • 31st May 05, 3:06 PM
    • #5
    • 31st May 05, 3:06 PM
    Sincere apologies on such a useful thread but...

    Hi Ian,

    I have 2 extremely noisy toilets when they flush. As my bedroom is right next door to one, I would love to know if there's a way to shut them up!
    by Fran
    i have the same problem as fran.....

    and one of my toilets is incredibly noisy after flushing......
    smile --- it makes people wonder what you are up to....
  • Luis
    • #6
    • 31st May 05, 3:26 PM
    • #6
    • 31st May 05, 3:26 PM
    Hi Ian.

    I am going to resurface my bath rather than replace it, due to budget constraints, but I need to replace the taps on the bath and the sink.

    What I would like to know is should I paint the bath then change the taps? Then - how do I change taps, what tools do I need? My House is a 1970's ex council house with copper pipes (if that info helps). I have no plumbing experience. There appears to be some sort of bolt thing directly under each tap - how do I attach new taps?

    Hoping you can help,

    "It was not my intention to do this in front of you. For that, I'm sorry. But you can take my word for it, your mother had it comin'."

    Overlord for the Axis of Evil (part time)
    • alanobrien
    • By alanobrien 31st May 05, 3:33 PM
    • 3,178 Posts
    • 1,788 Thanks
    • #7
    • 31st May 05, 3:33 PM
    • #7
    • 31st May 05, 3:33 PM
    Hi Ian,

    I am right in the middle of refurbishing my central heating system replacing valves, fitting trv's and re piping etc as some "expert" fitted spacers to all the rads some years ago effectively making them non standard. :confused:

    I guess they changed from imperial to metric rads the easy way

    Anyway, no problems at the moment but i just wanted to say cracking picture on the van

    For those that have not seen it look under the not to serious section
  • Gremilex
    • #8
    • 31st May 05, 3:59 PM
    Installing a shower
    • #8
    • 31st May 05, 3:59 PM
    Hi Ian,
    I am considering installing a replacement shower enclosure, tray and shower in the house.
    1. Where can you get a view of the building regulations for such an installation ?

    2. The materials are very expensive in my opinion-how do you get the best price. For good quality branded kit it will approach between 1500 and 2000.

    3. Can I have your telephone number in case I get stuck ?

    Thanks for this useful thread Martin
  • b.abraham
    • #9
    • 1st Jun 05, 4:06 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Jun 05, 4:06 PM
    Hi Ian
    My toilet has recently started to constantly keep taking in water, so it's extremely noisy. It's an old-ish system with a handle and once you've used the loo and try to flush it doesn't really bring in much more water. The amount of water it took in to flush was never brilliant, but it's getting silly and is very irritating. Any ideas ?

  • Smudge32
    Hi Ian

    The water from my bathroom hot tap has started coming out brown. Blurgh. What is this likely to be?
  • Jay_Cee_Ooh
    Hi Ian,

    I'm about to replace my kitchen and need to run some new pipework to the sink. I've replaced a couple of bathroom suites in the past so I kind of know what to expect. However, previously I've always used push-fit connectors instead of compression / soldering. This time I'm thinking of soldering. Is there one form of connection that you would recommend above another? Is my assumption that soldering is the best (i.e. least likely to leak) correct? I'm going to have to channel out a concrete floor to do this so any tips would be more than greatfully received.

    Many thanks to both you and Martin for coming up with this great idea. Looking forward to next week's installment, "How to build an extension"!!!
  • Keziah
    Hi Ian

    Our shower is one of those cheap wall-mounted over the bath things that just takes in cold water and does the rest itself. It will only do scalding hot or freezing cold. Is this just because those cheap showers are rubbish?

    Roughly how much would it cost to put in a proper shower? I'm not planning on doing it myself but I would like to know so I can ask my landlady.

    This is such a good idea, thanks for being so helpful!
  • Life Agency
    you could take out home emergency service
  • hammondm
    Hello Ian

    I have a problem with the shower unit I installed in my en suite. Because the size of the gap was c20cm wider than the shower tray itself, I built a bridging shelf which overlapped the shower tray. This was then tiled and plenty of mastick applied. However what pools in the corner of this shelf, and I have discovered a significant leak.

    Despite numerous reapplications of mastick (removing old first) the leak is still there and I have been advised that the only way to get rid of it is by increasing the angle of the run off into the shower tray so that water does not 'pool' in the corner. Is there anything else I can do to ensure a waterproof seal on the shelf?

    • WaltD
    • By WaltD 1st Jun 05, 5:04 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    Hi Ian!
    I have a traditional gas fired central heating / hot water system, with a header tank in the attic, boiler in the kitchen, and hot water cylinder in the first-floor airing cupboard. There is a switch on the control box that lets me select "heating and hot water" or "hot water only". But just lately, it makes no difference which way I set this switch ... the central heating stays on anyway! What could be the cause of this problem? It always worked correctly before.

  • Big Koz
    HI Ian,

    I have silly night storage heaters that are useless that I am going to replace with a new combi boiler, radiators, etc. I've seen a great deal on for all the kit but would need it fitted. How much do you think something like this should cost. Please bare in mind that all copper and fittings are included. Also the Mrs wants these old cast iron looking radiators (against my advice!) but they look like they take a lot of water to fill - pushing running costs up. Is this the case or do they generate more heat to take balance things up?

    Many thanks

    • philhuff
    • By philhuff 1st Jun 05, 5:13 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    I've got a dishwasher sitting here waiting to be put in place, although I'd need about 4-5 feet of pipework to get it connected. I'm adeqaute at DIY, so is this something I could reasonably do myself with little risk? Or should I leave it to a plumber and, if so, what sort of cost would be reasonable?
    Last edited by Pink.; 02-06-2005 at 12:39 AM. Reason: links not permitted in signatures
    Hope this is the right link! my plumbing question is how do I stop the overflow from my toilet-it has a plastic ballcock so I can not bend it as oin days of yore and the water level keeps drifting up to the overflow level

    *Personal details removed*
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 01-06-2005 at 10:03 PM.
  • pennies2pounds
    No hot water but heating works
    Hi Ian , My mum has an oil fired system and has no hot water but the heating still works luckily the immersion works too any ideas would be welcome TIA.
    Last edited by pennies2pounds; 03-06-2005 at 3:27 PM.
  • Keris
    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for doing this.

    I have a (possibly) stupid question and a not stupid question:

    Our electric oven has broken. We want to replace it with an electric oven and a gas hob. I don't know who we would get to install it (since it involves .. erm .. "getting" gas into the kitchen). My sister says a plumber. Is that right?

    And our pipes are extremely noisy. When you empty the bath you can hear the water in the loo and bubbling up the sink, if that makes sense. Nothing actually comes out of the sink, it just sounds like it's going to. And it's really loud downstairs too. Is this just because the pipes are old? Is there anything we can do about it? If we need new pipes how much is this likely to cost?

    Thanks again

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