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Category Archive: Home Features

  1. How To Unblock a Basin

    Hudson Reed Traditional Bathrooms

    How to Unblock a Basin

    There aren’t many more frustrating ordeals in a bathroom or kitchen than a blocked basin. Whether filling up a kitchen sink to wash those dishes or preparing the bathroom basin for a nightly shave, it’s inconvenient, to put it politely.

    Before you hop onto your phone and search for your nearest emergency plumber, you could unblock that blockage yourself. Showers To You are on hand to provide a comprehensive guide to how you can unblock your sink/ basin yourself without breaking your bank or a sweat!

    Why is there a blockage?

    If your kitchen sink or basin is blocked, there are a few reasons why that water won’t drain away. These include:

    • Leftover food
    • Solidifying grease/ fat
    • Soap Scum
    • Foreign object
    • Poor installation
    • Bad weather

    – Bits of leftover food always find their way into your sink. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable when draining a large pan, rinsing a mountain of plates or cleaning your chopping board. Even if you have scraped all you can into the bin and even if you have a strainer, over time, food will find a way into your drain.

    – Meat fats, oils, butter and cooking fat start as a standard liquid. Once left to cool, they quickly turn into an unsightly solid. You may have seen someone pour meat fat into a separate bowl or container whilst you tuck into your roast dinner, and it becomes a solid clump of fat. This is what it does inside of your drain!

    – Gradually, soap scum builds up in your sink or basin, regardless of the brand or cleaning product. This is similar to a shower tray, and how soap scum is unfortunately inevitable (see our guide on how to clean soap scum inside of your shower).

    – Soap, toothpaste or a clump of hair can easily slip down your plughole. These are only noticeable once the sink/ basin is blocked. If a larger object has fallen, it will likely be caught in the basin trap located underneath your basin (more on this later).

    – If you have recently moved into a new house or have had a new basin installed and it is constantly blocked, it can be down to the pipework or plumbing installed incorrectly. As the water flow is gravity dependent, the pipework is also gravity dependent, so if the pipework has been installed at an incorrect angle, a blockage will occur. If this is the case, we strongly advise contacting a professional plumber. At Showers to You, we have various designs of basins available, including wall-mounted and countertop basins.

    – Heavy rainfall can cause drains outside to overflow and block, which will back up into your home and your neighbours. Thames Water explains who is responsible for clearing a blockage. 

    How can I unblock my basin?

    Now that we have covered how a blockage can occur let’s run through some options to unblock your bathroom basin or kitchen sink.

    You may need the following items:

    • A plunger
    • Kettle/ boiling water
    • A sizeable old towel/ sheet
    • Bleach
    • Small cloth
    • Rubber gloves
    • Bicarbonate of Soda
    • Alka Seltzer
    • White Vinegar
    • A Plumbers snake/ pipe cleaner
    • Biological Washing Powder
    • Adjustable spanner
    1. Plunger method: This is the easiest method on the list:
    • Pop the rubber gloves on and remove the drain stopper/ pop-up waste
    • Cover the overflow with the old cloth
    • Firmly press the plunger’s suction cup over the plug hole and ensure the hole is completely covered
    • Pull the plunger into the air and repeat until the water drains
    • If this method doesn’t work, try one of the below.
    1. Bicarbonate of Soda method: Soda is often a staple of daily cleaning routines:
    • Measure out 500ml of white vinegar into a jug or cup
    • Spoon three teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda into the drain
    • Gently pour the vinegar down the drain after the soda.
    • Leave for five minutes to allow the reaction to occur.
    • Simultaneously, boil a whole kettle of water.
    • Once boiled, flush the blockage away with the water.
    • Repeat if necessary
    1. Washing Powder method: This method is very similar to the Bicarbonate of Soda method above:
    • Firstly, boil a whole kettle of water.
    • Spoon three teaspoons of biological washing powder into the drain
    • Immediately flush the powder with boiling water.
    • Repeat if necessary
    1. Check the Waste Trap: If none of the methods work, check the U-Bend/ trap:
    • Turn off the water at the mains and clear the underneath of the sink/ basin.
    • Lay an old towel/ sheet down to catch any water that drips from underneath the area
    • With the adjustable spanner, carefully loosen the fittings on the waste trap. Keep all parts together (e.g., seals or delicate washers)
    • Once the trap is removed, clear the debris away and reassemble (remember to test for any leaks)
    • Turn the water back on.

    Waste traps catch larger items and can be easily accessed.

    1. Bleach and water method: Everyday items can come in handy with this one:
    • To ensure safety when dealing with bleach, we strongly recommend wearing gloves and being careful not to inhale fumes/ rub your eyes.
    • Measure 250ml of bleach
    • Boil a whole kettle of water
    • Pour the bleach down the drain.
    • Immediately after, slowly pour the water to flush the bleach.
    • Repeat if required
    1. Alka Seltzer method: This one is slightly obscure, but trust us with this to unblock your basin:
    • Measure 500ml of white vinegar
    • Place two Alka Seltzer tablets down the plug hole.
    • Pour the vinegar over the tablets.
    • Leave for approximately five minutes.
    • During this time, boil a whole kettle of water.
    • Slowly pour the water into the blockage and on top of the vinegar and tablets.
    • Repeat if required
    1. Plumbers Snake: Whilst this tool isn’t an everyday household item, it can certainly help with that unsightly blockage:
    • Insert the snake straight into the hole
    • The snake’s end is a small part resembling a corkscrew. This breaks down the blockage.
    • If you do not wish to insert straight into the plug hole, repeat method four and insert the snake straight into the pipes from underneath the sink/ basin
    • The snake will either break down the debris or pull it out.

    What if my outside drain is blocked?

    We strongly urge anyone to contact a local professional to inspect the outside drain. A professional may use a jet or a rod to clear the blockage. A guide by Checkatrade has broken down the average cost of a call out and repair, with prices ranging from £60 to £400.

    How can I prevent a blockage?

    It always helps to identify the cause of a blockage. We advise being more careful when draining pans, scraping dishes thoroughly and consistently placing any leftover oil or meat fat into a separate container and discarding them into the bin once cooled down. Basic maintenance will help unblock the drain and tackle smaller blockages.

    If you suspect the blockage is caused by soap scum, clean the basin after every use, or it could be time to change to a different brand entirely. If none of these methods works, it could be time to call a professional plumber.

    Check out our full range of bathroom basins and kitchen sinks online today! Alternatively, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email ([email protected]), online contact form or phone (01472 242159).

  2. Easy Tips For Saving Water At Home

    Read this simple blog post to see how you can save water and money at home with a few easy changes…

     

    All prices are soaring in 2022. Fuel prices are soaring, basic living costs are forever increasing and energy bills are reaching all-time highs. At Showers To You, we have compiled a shortlist of basic ways we can all save money and water at home.

    If we all did any of the basic changes below at home, not only could we all help our bank accounts, but we could also provide help to the environment. According to the Energy Saving Trust, in Britain alone, we use around 840 billion litres of water per year. Saving water eases pressure on the UK’s wetlands and rivers, thus allowing wildlife to survive and prosper.



     

    Did you know?

    • On average, the UK household uses around 330 litres of water daily. That fills an average 10ft swimming pool a week.
    • A full bath can use up to 80 litres of water
    • A 5-minute shower (depending on the water flow speed) uses around 75 litres of water
    • A washing machine uses approximately 50 litres per cycle
    • A single toilet flush can use about 5 litres per flush
    • Nearly 70% of the water we use at home comes from our bathroom
    • An average shower time is up to 8 minutes per person

    Save Water At Home

    Water can’t be taken for granted. With climate change occurring and extreme weather conditions, water supplies across the globe are becoming unpredictable.  These are some of the simple changes any household can make:

    • Checking a toilet or tap for leaks – a running toilet leak can waste around 60,000 litres of water per year if it hasn’t been checked and fixed. A simple way to check is to place a few drops of food dye into the toilet’s cistern. Do not flush the toilet for 15 minutes. If the dye has seeped into the bowl, then there is a leak (don’t worry if there isn’t a leak and the dye is still in the cistern. This will be filtered out with a few flushes). A leaky tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water per year. Whilst waiting for the leak to be fixed, make sure to turn the water supply off.

    Approximate Water Wasted in litres from everyday house appliances.

    • Speaking of toilets – older style single-flush toilets use approximately 13 litres of water with each flush, whereas a modern dual-flush toilet only uses around 6 litres of water per flush. If upgrading your toilet is not financially possible, why not consider a water-saving cistern-displacement device? These can be found cheaply online or by contacting your water provider.

     

    • Only boil what you use – we’re British. We love tea. We’re all guilty of doing this, but only boil the kettle with the water that you intend to use. Take a look on the side of your kettle and see the advised fill line. Not only are you saving water with this tip, but you’re also saving a lot of energy in the long run.

     

    • Check your showerhead – modern designs of showerheads are mostly eco-friendly. We’re not talking about changing your entire shower (although we do have some great ideas in a separate blog post), however, a simple showerhead change can save up to 10 litres per minute. A bonus is that these showerheads are easy to install and are still as refreshing as a normal shower.

     

    • When watering your garden – do you use the water from your sink or your outside tap? A water-saving solution could be a Water Butt. Depending on your garden size, a Water Butt can be sized up to 20,000 litres! They catch excess rainwater and have a small tap towards the bottom. Not only will the grass and plants be drinking a natural source of water, but you will be saving potentially hundreds of pounds a year. Try to use a watering can when possible and try not to water in direct sunlight, as most of the water will be lost with evaporation.

     

    • If you have a dishwasher – make sure it’s fully stacked before using one. On average, a dishwasher uses 14 litres per cycle.

     

    • If you wash your car at home, a bucket and a watering can use a lot less water than a hosepipe or a pressure washer. However, if there is no alternative to a hosepipe, make sure the pipe is featured with some form of trigger nozzle rather than a naked end.

     

    • Turn off the taps – by turning off the taps when brushing your teeth or shaving, over 5,000 litres of water can be saved per year. This works out to potentially 6 litres of water wasted every minute.

     

    • Install ecofriendly appliances with being eco-friendly on many businesses’ minds (including all of us at Showers To You), many household appliances have been designed to reduce water waste. These include low water-flow taps, water-efficient toilets and reduced-capacity baths. Any of these water-saving appliances can make a huge difference in your bills and the wider natural environment.

     

    • Get a shower timer – a shower timer can potentially cut your shower time in half. These often use a suction cup and stick to a wall in your shower. Simply rotate the timer to start the countdown. Alternatively, why not challenge yourself to get showered to a three- or four-minute song?

    • When using your washing machine – why not check to see what temperature you wash your clothes on. From an energy-saving point of view, check to see how big a load of washing is before you clean it. Is it worth turning the machine on for a handful of dirty laundry, or could it wait to be washed with a few more items? A bonus check to do is to make sure the appliance is energy and water-efficient.

     

    A few small yet simple changes around the house can help save energy, water and money. Water is one of the most important elements in life. With a better understanding of water management and how usage can be reduced, shortages can be prevented in the future, along with wildlife and habitats. Over at Showers To You, we have a variety of eco-friendly showerheads, baths and toilets available.

  3. Best shower tray buyers Guide for 2021

    Best shower tray buyers Guide for 2021

    There are three main things you need to look for when you are buying your shower – the enclosure, the tray, and the showerhead. Let’s talk about the trays!

    Shower trays are an essential part of any new shower installation and design. But shower trays are available in a huge range of shapes or sizes, which can be confusing. Which finish is best for you? What size do you need? Which features to look out for? There are many questions you might have and we will try to help you here!

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  4. A guide to the different types of heating system for your bathroom

    There is nothing worse than getting into a shower when the bathroom is cold and unwelcoming. If you want to avoid finding yourself in that situation, it’s best to invest in a proper heating system for your bathroom. Just like choosing the perfect shower, choosing the perfect heating system for your bathroom is an equally important decision. This post will explain the types of bathroom heating systems, so you can decide which one would be most suited for you.

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  5. Crowned: The Most and Least Polite Hometowns

    Good neighbours become good friends, right? Neighbours can keep a spare key for you, pop in to feed the cat and keep an eye on your home whilst you’re away. Aside from peace of mind and the odd favour, neighbours can also bring a great deal of sociality and joy to your home life. But have you ever considered if you have polite neighbours?

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  6. REVEALED: What Renters are Happy to a Premium For

    Over the last decade, house price inflation has accelerated beyond wage growth across the UK. This in turn, has dented the prospect of home ownership for many first-time buyers. Consequently, Brits have had no choice but to opt for the private rental market as an alternative way to get on the property ladder.

    (more…)

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