Results from the industry-specialist Water Regulation Advisory Scheme‘s (WRAS) recent survey highlighted that many young people aged 18-24 have a lack of plumbing knowledge which could spell disaster when faced with an emergency problem at home. The report revealed that “82% of 18-24-year-olds don’t think to ask where the main stopcock is when moving into a new home”, vital information needed in order to switch off the mains water supply in the event of a leak or burst pipe.
Results from the GROHE Water Security Survey in 2017 highlighted that more than half of homes in Europe have already experienced water damage in their homes once, and shockingly, 93% of these cases were preventable.
As fellow water experts, GROHE shares its quick tips and product solutions that could equip new homeowners and even rental tenants with essential knowledge to make the exciting – yet daunting – rite of passage of moving into a new home less stressful.
Here are some easy, every day steps you can take to protect your home from the disastrous effects of water damage:
Locate your stop cock and meter
In most properties, the stopcock can be found under the kitchen sink or utility room sink. It will be the first connection into the property and typically has a small brass handle, although in some newer houses this may be plastic. The location of your water meter will vary from property to property however in most cases, it will be on the boundary of your property in either the front or back, normally covered by a small black square cover. You should not touch this unless in an emergency.
Take small and simple steps to prevent damage
If you’re going away during winter, keep your central heating and hot water on a timer for 1 hour each morning and 1 hour each evening to ensure your pipes don’t freeze over in the wintery temperatures.
Invest in water security smart tech
It is well worth investing in a smart water security system like the GROHE Sense and Sense Guard to monitor and protect your home against water damage. GROHE Sense and Sense Guard is a smart water sensor and controller system which detects flooding, frost risk, micro leakages and pipe breaks as well as tracking room temperature and humidity. In the event any issues are detected, you are alerted via an app so that you can act quickly, and if needed, switch off the mains supply with just the tap of a button from your phone.
Homeowners! Inspect your loft
‘Out of sight out of mind’ could scream trouble if you neglect your loft. Make a mentalnote to inspect your loft regularly to check that there are no signs of a slow leak or mould. Ensure the cold water tank in your loft is properly insulated in order to protect the filling values from freezing. You should also double check that all pipework located in the loft is insulated to industry standard and ask a professional for advice if you’re unsure.
Get to grips with your watersystem
You might not be thinking about upgrading your shower just yet but knowing your water system will determine which kind of bathroom fittings you can use. Not all products can work efficiently with all water systems, so you’ll want to make sure you know the type of system you have and the products that will work the most economically and high performance. After all, there’s nothing worse than having little more than a drizzle to call your morning shower!
There are 4 types of systems that you could have in your home:
• Gravity Fed: A gravity fed open vented system – the most common system used in the UK. This gives you low water pressure in your bathroom as the water has to travel all the way up to the loft before it is heated. As it travels upwards, pressure is lost. The easiest way to tell if you have this type of system is to look in your loft to see if you have a water tank.
Pump: You can increase pressure by installing a pump, meaning you will have the correct pressure and flow rate for most products. It would be like adding a pressure washer to a hose pipe in order to wash the car. Once the pump is running you will more than likely have over 2 bar of water pressure at the source.
Combination: If you have a combination boiler installed in your home, this will allow you to have high water pressure. The water is heated on demand and does not rely on gravity.
Pressurised: A pressurised unvented system will also deliver water at high pressure. An expansion vessel sits on top of the water cylinder, this replaces the storage tank in the loft. Water pressure with this type of system is usually over 1 bar.
How to fix a leaking tap (without a plumber!)
Without even realising, even the smallest of leaks in a tap can cost hundreds of pounds a year. It’s not something you really want to splash out for when you’re adjusting to life in your firsthome. Small fixes to a tap can be a simple DIY job that anyone can do, with no need to call in a plumber. Most manufacturers supply spares for over 10 years, so replacing a ceramic cartridge can save you money and can be completed in under an hour. Fixing small leaks when they arise can also help prevent bigger problems in the future so it is definitely worth investing a bit of time or money in getting these fixed as soon as you spot them.
First time managing bills? Learn how to keep costs down
Living in your first property, whether rented or owned, is a daunting prospect and the management of household bills is just one of many responsibilities that comes with the territory (literally!). Thankfully, app technology and clever gadgets can help you keep a tab on how much you are consuming and which of your appliances are guzzling not only water, but your money too. The GROHE ONDUS app cleverly uses information from the Sense and Sense Guard to let you track your water consumption – a simple method that helps keep you in the know-how when it comes to your household bills.
With winter and frozen pipes looming, GROHE wants to arm new homeowners with its super- smart GROHE Sense water sensor, a “new home” gift that will protect your home 365 days a year, for many years to come.