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New Year’s resolutions you can keep

Thinking of New Year’s resolutions? You could go with the standard ‘lose weight and be healthier.’ Maybe even set that new alarm clock and embrace a life of better time keeping. You could be more tolerant of the idiosyncrasies of  the people around you (but let’s face it, you won’t last long) or you could commit to trying to learn something new. However, if you are struggling to make any meaningful resolutions, why not embrace a few ideas to help your home stay safe, warm and energy efficient for the year ahead.

Find and label your stop-valve (stopcock)
If you do anything this year, make sure it is this! Find out where your stop-valve is located on the incoming water supply main and label it. If you have a plumbing emergency, you’ll need this handy valve to turn your water supply off. Check occasionally that it is working. Find and label the location of any drain valves on the system too.

Insulate your pipes
Proper insulation will help to prevent frozen and burst pipes. It’s cheap, can be bought from plumbing merchants and DIY stores, and it’s really easy to fit. Ensure that the storage system and exposed pipes are properly insulated, particularly in the roof space/attic or anywhere that is particularly cold. 

Inspect your cold-water storage cistern
If you have a cold-water storage cistern (tank) you should get used to checking it regularly. If it is metal, make sure it is not corroding. Call in your plumbing professional if there is any sign of a problem or even if you are unsure about what you find.

Don’t ignore minor plumbing problems
We can all be guilty of ignoring minor annoyances, but it really is a case of ‘do that at your own peril’ when it comes to plumbing systems. Dripping taps or continuously running overflow pipes are a sure sign that your plumbing system requires maintenance. Don’t ignore it, or you could have a major (and expensive) problem on your hands. The CIPHE recommends plumbing systems have an annual MOT style service to ensure they are working safely, effectively and efficiently. 

Get your boiler regularly serviced
Have central heating boilers and other heating appliances serviced yearly. If you have a condensing boiler, make sure that the condensate pipework is protected against freezing.

Do not undertake major DIY plumbing projects!
The winter isn’t a great time for DIY enthusiasts, but come the spring, the urge to DIY will become overwhelming. Putting up a couple of shelves is one thing, but trying a bit of DIY on your plumbing or heating system can be dangerous and expensive. The DIY-er has to abide by the same laws and regulations as the professional installer. If you don’t know what you are doing, uninformed DIY could drop you in hot water with the law. The advice is that unless you are competent to do a job, leave it to the professionals. DIY interference with plumbing and heating systems can result in serious damage, expensive repair bills and potential health hazards.

Save water and energy
Need to replace  your taps, shower or WC? Or need a new boiler? Energy and water efficient products will not only save you money, they also help the environment too. Talk to your local plumbing or heating engineer about the most efficient products for your home.

Need a plumbing or heating engineer in your area to help you carry out these New Year resolutions? Check out the Find a Plumber page. If you have any questions or are in need of further advice, the CIPHE head office reopens at 9am on Tuesday 2nd January.

Happy New Year everyone!