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SERVICING YOUR BOILER

Now the Summer has long gone, most if not all of us smiles have now become a frown.  During the Summer months, we were all cheerful and had that feel good attitude.  After all people, we were getting some sunshine and warm weather however short a period we had it.  With all that happiness, it would appear that Winter was a million light years away.  We may have forgotten that Winter was only in another couple of weeks, and that the weather would change and the miserable feeling would soon set in.

Although this Winter has not been as cold as previous ones, there are evenings when the central heating is a must and it has to be turned on, try as we may to avoid using any extra gas with the high cost as is it already.  However, with months of only being active when we use hot water, for some strange reason, some central heating systems tend to malfunction.

In order to avoid all the added stress that comes with not having a properly functioned boiler, it is advisable that you service your boiler once a year especially if the boiler is an older model.  The choice is really up to you.

What does servicing a boiler really involves?  It is checking, cleaning, testing and fault spotting.  Special emphasis is placed on testing all the different functions of the boiler for safety and correct operation.  In addition, the electrical connections are checked.

Be careful of some of these bigger companies whose engineers who try and cut corners on the work then produce a large bill at the end.  They often use words such as “annual safety check” which is completely different from “boiler service”.  When servicing your boiler, try and do this before the Autumn months as this could eventually save you money and headache in trying to find a competent Gas Safe Certified Engineer.  Do not wait until the last minute like most of us tend to do.

When you decide to service your boiler, ensure that you seek a registered Gas Safe Certified Engineer.  You can always find a full list on the Gas Safe website.  Do not be afraid to ask to see their identification card before they even touch your boiler.  If you get some sill excuse such as, “it is in my van” or “I left it at home”, then DO NOT let them touch your boiler until they can produce this card because more than likely, they are not registered and should anything goes wrong, you have no way of being compensated.

Once you have found a trustworthy Gas Safe Engineer, you can rest assured that you will be able to rely on that person or company, each time something goes wrong with your boiler to fix the problem.

 

 
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Simple Do It Yourself Tip on How to Unblock a Kitchen Sink

One can always argue that it is more economical to prevent problems from happening rather than solving them after they have occurred.

How many of us can honestly admit that without thinking, we pour items down the drains and not give it a second thought as to whether or not it will eventually block up and ultimately cost a lot of money to clear the blockage.

In order to avoid calling an emergency plumber DO NOT pour grease or any other products that cannot be broken down easily in the drain.  Always use a sink strainer if you do not have a garbage disposal unit attached as this will prevent large particles from entering the drainage system.

If for any reason your drains become blocked, do not panic.  Always to to solve the problem first by doing some do it yourself home remedy.  You may already have these items in your kitchen cupboard, which are vinegar and baking soda.  All you need to do it pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of boiling vinegar down the drain.  It is advisable that you wait about 5-6 minutes before flushing the drain with roughly 2 quarts of hot water.  Repeat this process a couple more time.  Both the baking soda and vinegar acts as acid which should break down the food particles in the drain.

If this does not work, then your drains are more blocked than anticipated.  It is now wise to call in an expert.

It is advisable to find an emergency plumber/drain specialist who after you explain the problem to them, will be able to give you some idea as to what may have caused the blockage after you have explained to them what have been poured down the drain over time which may have caused the build up.

 

 
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Finding a Genuine 24-hr Emergency Plumbing Company

Finding a qualified and reliable plumbing company in today’s society is like finding a needle in a haystack.  Most companies advertised that they operate on a 24-hr/365 days a year basis, however, should some emergency happen at say 3:00 a.m. and you call some of these companies, either of two things would happen: the phone line rings without any answer and if you are lucky enough to have an actual human being and not a machine pick up the call, you are told that no plumber is available and that one can be scheduled in for first thing in the morning.  Well my answer to that is always “NO”.  24 hours should mean exactly what is says 24 hours.

Some companies will have hidden charges and tell you “we do not have any call out charges”, however, once the plumber has come to your property and show you the bill after the work has been completed, you will need to take out a mortgage to pay it.  Why can’t they be honest enough to say to you, well ours charges are this, either per hour or per half hour.  Some companies have different charges for different times of the day or evening.  Why does everyone have to make things so complicated?

How often do we get companies who sent a plumber out and then that person totally disappears in your home only to return one hour later with the bill.  We all want a company who will be professional enough to diagnose the problem firstly and inform you every step of the way as to what is happening.  As customers, we should be offered options as to the next step to be taken so that we can decide for ourselves if we want to go for the cheaper or the more expensive option in getting the problem fixed.  How often are you told that a plumber will be with you within a certain time and that  time has passed and still no plumber.  why do that do that?  Why can’t they give you a rough estimate and if they are running late, telephone you to inform you what is happening.  Is that too much to ask?  I will tell you why, because they think that as customers, you are not important and you can wait.  where are the days when a customer was “King”?

Plumbing services are in great demand and there are a lot of young people who are training in this highly demanded skill.  After all, the job can sometimes be dirty and back breaking but the real satisfaction at the end of it is to know that you have solved a problem that could potentially lead to a disaster.

May people might think that a plumber is there only to fix a leaking pipe, but this is far from the truth.  The role of a plumber can vary from installation of a bathroom, fixing a leaking radiator, fixing taps, making sure that hot and cold water feeds are working properly, just to name a few.

We see on programmes like “Wanted Down Under – Australia”, that plumbers are in great demand.

At Platinum, we are experts in finding decent plumbers and are a genuine 24-hr emergency company.

 

 
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BENEFITS OF HAVING A COMPETENT PLUMBER

 

One would hope that our economy would settle down and home owners who have put off doing any remodelling are now thinking about it.  The two most important areas of any home are the bathroom and kitchen.  After all, these two areas are usually the selling point that most people go for when making their decision.

There is a not a lot of planning involved in pursuing such a renovation.  Don’t be fooled by some companies advertising that you will be furnished with a project manager, a plumber, etc.    All a project manager is there for is to ensure that the job is completed in accordance with the schedule and all these people who are involved in your project, will be added to the bill, it is not for free.  It is not rocket science.  All you need is a clear idea of how you want your bathroom  or kitchen to look and ensure that you will be able to function in it properly.  In addition, you will need a competent plumber who will be able to give you some good ideas as well.  With all this on board, you no doubt will have a recipe for success in the design of your new bathroom or kitchen.

Most plumbers are under estimated because customers may feel that they are only there to fix broken pipes.  However, a competent plumber who knows his trade, will be able to offer his professional advice as to whether or not the layout you are thinking about will be functional and is achievable.

With most customers, choosing the correct fixtures and fittings can be a nightmare.  Like most of us, we want high specifications but do not have the budget to match.  This is where a competent plumber is beneficial as he will be able to give you ideas and advise on less expensive fixtures and fittings that will still give you that WOW factor.  He can assist with choosing of the tiles that will give you the illusion of a very large bathroom especially if you have a small bathroom.

If you are able to view previous work, by all means do so because not only would you feel more confident that he knows what he is doing, but you may even pick up some ideas as to the design you may have in mind.  If you unable to see previous work, ask for references that you can contact.  You are will within you rights to be 101% satisfied.

Also, be sure that you employ a dedicated person who will be there at the crack of dawn and does not have a problem working late because they want to get the job done.  Most importantly, you need someone you can trust especially if you will be at work when the renovation is to take place.

 

At Platinum, we are experts in renovations.

 

 

 

 
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Plumbing Tips When Going on Holiday

 

 

Getting the chance to go on any holiday is an exciting time for anyone.  Whether it is going for a short break to Europe or going to the warm tropical island get away.

 

We always ensure that we have all our holiday essentials covered:

  • Passport
  • Money
  • Suntan Lotion
  • Travel Insurance
  • Camera
  • Lock up the house properly

In all this excitement, we sometimes overlook the simplest things such as ensuring the taps are switched off properly.  On your return from holiday looking well tanned and relaxed, you enter your home only to find that your floor is completely drenched in water and the first human instinct is to panic.

After the plumber has left and you have paid him with your last pound from your bank account because you are so skint coming back from holiday (which we are get), you are left with the daunting question to yourself,  “why didn’t I think to double check the taps?”

Here are some of my tips to ensure that your holiday remains memorable for the right reasons.

 

Please read advisory note before following the procedures for turning off your mains water supply.

  • Isolate mains water feed to property.  In order to do this, you need to know where your mains water supply stopcock is (if in doubt contact a plumber or neighbour).  They are usually located under the kitchen sink but for older properties such as in London, they are commonly found under the staircase on the ground floor.
  • Once you have located the mains water stopcock to property, you need to turn it off which often is easier said than done.  These stopcocks are normally of a brass construction and tend to seize very easily.
  • You will need to first spray the stopcock with WD 40 or some other type of lubricant.  If you don’t have WD 40 or a similar lubricant (which is preferred) you can use ordinary cooking oil (that’s it, ordinary cooking oil but be careful otherwise you could make a mess by using this option).
  • Once you have sprayed/lubricated the stopcock, it will be easier for you to turn it off.
  • You need to turn it off in a clockwise direction (DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN).
  • If the stopcock is stiff to turn off, you will need to be VERY CAREFUL as mentioned above, these stopcocks are often made of brass or other similar soft metals and YOU DO NOT want it to snap.
  • As you turn slightly clockwise, it often becomes very stiff to turn by hand, STOP turning clockwise and turn the tap anti-clockwise to loosen it, re-spray/lubricate again and repeat previous action.  Each time the action is repeated, you should be able to turn the stopcock more and more
  •  Turn on the kitchen tap (cold water only) and after a few seconds the water should stop. THAT’S IT!

 

Advisory Note:

If in any doubt, contact a qualified plumber.

Do not as mentioned above, over-tighten the stopcock otherwise this could snap in the shut position leaving your property permanently without water

You should not have to use any tools other than your hands and some lubricant as mentioned above.  If you cannot turn the mains water supply off by hand, contact a qualified plumber.

If all the above are done, then you should not have any surprises when you get home.

At Platinum, we are an experienced plumbing company especially if it is in an emergency.

 http://www.platinumemergency.com

Author by James Watts

 
 
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