July 13, 2012 04:00 ET

HomeServe's 3 Step Guide to Solving Plumbing Problems in the Home

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 13, 2012) - Summer's a time for dusting off your barbecue and taking a break, so dealing with a plumbing problem is likely to be the last thing on your mind. And anyone who's experienced a blocked toilet or sink in their home will know how unpleasant a problem it can be.

So HomeServe have put together an essential guide to dealing with common plumbing problems which will help you to reduce the risk of damage to your property and let you get back to your summer plans!

  1. How to unblock a toilet

If the blockage isn't too serious, it can usually be cleared by simply pouring a bucket of warm water into the toilet bowl. If the warm water method fails to clear the blockage, use a plunger to cover the outlet and pump. If you don't have a plunger to hand, a floor mop will make a suitable replacement.

  1. How to unblock a sink

If your sink's draining more slowly than usual (or not at all) you probably have a blocked pipe. Firstly try clearing the blockage using a plunger while blocking the overflow pipe with a cloth.

If that doesn't solve the problem, make a solution of 1/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup vinegar and pour this down the plughole. You should hear a fizzing noise to indicate it's working. Remember to wear protective gloves when unblocking a sink, and to clean up and disinfect thoroughly when the job's finished.

  1. Temporarily fix a leak

If you've got a leak in your home it's always best to call in the experts. Here's a couple of temporary measures to fix a leaking pipe and prevent major damage while you sort out a more permanent repair.

First step - Place a bucket or bowl under the leak to catch the water. Before attempting to fix the leak you'll need to locate and turn off your stop tap. If you have a ceiling leak, make a small hole with a screwdriver and catch the water in a bucket (this will help prevent the water building up and causing further damage to your home).

Option 1 - Amalgamation tape. Wrap this strong, watertight tape around the source of the leak to stop the drip. Always make sure you read the instructions on the packet prior to use.

Option 2 - Garden hose. If you have no access to amalgamation tape, a length of garden hose can make an effective alternative. Firstly make sure the hose is longer than the damaged section of the pipe. Then slice it lengthways, wrap it around the affected area and hold it in place with a hose clamp.

About HomeServe

Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household. With thousands of directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network. HomeServe's tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out a range of different jobs around the home.

HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards. HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

Important information regarding HomeServe help and advice

HomeServe try to make the home advice as useful and reliable as possible. However, the purpose of HomeServe help and advice content is to provide homeowners and private landlords with general guidance and useful tips only. It doesn't necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals and might not be relevant or appropriate in all circumstances. It is not designed to provide professional advice or financial advice and should not be relied on as such. The full disclaimer regarding HomeServe help and advice can be found on the website at the following page:

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