Do you know where the stop tap is in your home

Leaking or burst pipes or appliances can cause significant damage to a home and it is vital that you are able to stop the water as quickly as possible. All homes will have a stop tap which cuts off the supply of water to the pipes within the property. This tap is usually located in the home but there is also often one outside but you need a specialist tool to turn the tap off.

It is surprising how many homeowners do not know where the stop tapis located. Often they do not even think about it until they have an issue where they need to turn off the water supply quickly, and cannot find the tap.

It is important to find out where the tap is as soon as possible when you first move into a property (asking the previous owners is always a good idea) and making sure that all adults or older children who live in the house know how to turn it off. This means in an emergency situation you do not have to waste time and can help reduce the amount of damaged caused to the house and property within it.

Finding the best prices for your energy

This year energy companies are set to hike their prices up a lot which may mean that the average family has to fork out another £150-£200 per year. The last 18 months or so have been extremely hard for many people anyway due to Covid so this price increase could not have come at a worse time.

If you have been notified that your prices are set to increase then you may want to start shopping around for a better deal. There are some great comparison sites out there that allow you to put in your usage or your usual spend and see if you could save money by switching.

If you have electricity and gas with the same company then you often get a discount for dual fuel.

If you are on a low income then you may be able to get financial help such as the warm home discount. This will allow you to apply for a discount of around £130 off your electricity bill every year. This can make a big difference and may reduce your monthly direct debits by around £10 a month.

Always contact your supplier before switching to a new provider as they may well be able to offer you a better deal if you choose to stay with them.

Update your bathroom by installing a walk-in shower

Many families with young children need to have a bath in the bathroom of a property as showering toddlers and babies is very difficult. Some adults prefer baths to showers as they enjoy relaxing in the bath after a long day but as a shower is quicker and uses much less water some families consider removing the bath which may have a shower over it and replacing it with a walk-in shower instead.

Having a walk-in shower is generally favoured over a shower that is above a bath as there is more space in which to shower and it is easier to get in and out of, which may be important especially if there is someone in the household who suffers from mobility issues.

Even if the bathroom is small a walk-in shower can be installed in the same or smaller footprint as a bath and so can be useful if you are limited for space. If the shower could be situated in a corner of the bathroom then only two glass panels will be needed and then only two of the walls need to be tiled making the cost of installing the shower cheaper.

Plumbing for the shower is usually straightforward if the shower is installed near to where the plumbing for the original bath was however it is wise to get a professional plumber in to assess the best way to carry out the replacement and advise on the way forward.

Problems with your electric shower?

If you have an electric shower fitted in your bath or shower room it is inevitable that at some stage you will encounter an issue with it but before you call out an expert electrician or plumber there are a few things you can try first.

Number one, is the showerhead blocked? If you live in a hard water area there may be a build-up of limescale in the showerhead which will stop the water flowing freely and may cause the electric shower to cut out. To fix this problem simply unscrew the showerhead and put it to soak in white vinegar for a few hours. Once clean, rinse through with clean water and reattach to shower pipe.

Number two, the water is lukewarm coming out of the shower. This is very common with electric showers and can be due to a lack of power getting through the micro switch. This can happen when the switch is burned out or otherwise faulty or there is a failing heating element. A switch is not expensive to replace, but an element will cost more.

Finally, if you ever find there is water coming from the bottom of your electric shower, it may be that the Pressure Relief Device has activated. All of the manufacturers have them as a safety device and most of the time, it is just a ball inside the PRD that gets ejected when the pressure builds up inside the heating tank. This is normally caused by a blocked shower head or a kinked shower hose but is easily fixed.

Improve the energy efficiency of your home in three easy steps

The majority of homeowners are interested in saving money on their household bills and are regularly searching to get the best deal on their electricity, gas or oil costs but how can we improve the energy efficiency of our homes and therefore save our hard-earned money?

Firstly, the insulation of the property needs to be checked as this is probably the most effective way to save energy. Heat is lost through the ceilings and walls of the house and so adequate loft insulation and cavity wall insulation is certainly worthwhile especially if your property is older and has not been built with wall insulation as standard.

Secondly, do the windows and doors at the property let heat escape too easily? If this is the case then a survey on their efficiency is a good idea. Double or even triple glazing can save the homeowner money and at the same time reduce any troublesome road noise.

Lastly, if the property has a gas boiler installed it is important to check whether it is of the type that only heats the water that you need as this is far better than heating a tank of water that you may not use. These combi boilers are much more efficient and remove the need for a large hot water cylinder.