lady Replacing Tap Washers
Close off the water supply to the tap and open the tap to drain excess water.

Put the plug in the waste outlet - not to stop loss of water, but to safeguard against losing any of the tap components when dismantling it.

Remove the top cover of the tap. This may be a metal type with a hexagonal base, in which case you should wrap some cloth around it before undoing with a spanner. The cloth will prevent it being scratched. Hold the tap itself to prevent it turning.

Some taps have a moulded plastic cover held in place with a small screw located in its top (sometimes under a plastic insert, which will need to be gently prised out with a thin bladed screwdriver). Once the cover is removed, undo the top section of the tap by turning the hexagonal nut next to the base with a spanner. Hold the tap itself (wrapped in a rag) using a pipe wrench to prevent it turning. Lift the top section out of the tap.

On the underside of this will be the washer retained by a small nut, which should be undone, or a button.

Remove the old washer and replace with a new one. Make sure that pieces of the old washer are not left in the seat of the tap before finally reassembling it and switching the water back on.

lady Leaking Pipe? Temporary emergency repair:

It is not always practical to carry out a permanent repair immediately on a leaking pipe.

You would need to Isolate the water supply to the pipe concerned and drain the system.

A temporary repair can be effected until a permanent repair is possible. You can take a piece of garden hose of sufficient diameter to go round the pipe. Cut it lengthways and place it over the damage. Fasten with at least three jubilee clips. One in the centre and one at either end. By tightening these sufficiently, you should be able to seal the hose against the pipe so that no further water escapes. For a permanent repair you can contact the Chiswick Plumbers for details.

Radiators cold at the top?

You need to remove the air from the top of your radiators using a radiator 'bleed' key

When air is bled or released from a tank fed system, the water in the system will be topped up by the feed and expansion tank.

If a radiator in a sealed system needs bleeding the pressure in the system will be reduced. The system will, therefore, needed to be toped up. However, sealed systems are different from open vented ones and have no feed and expansion tank.

The instruction manual for your system may have details of how to top up the system. Typically this is in the form of a 'filling loop'.

If not, or if you have any doubts at all, you can contact the Chiswick plumbers for advice.