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February 17, 2006

Draining water systems

Filed under: DIY Plumbing — DO or DIY @ 2:31 pm

Draining water systems

If you wish to move a radiator or need to do some repairs, first you need to drain the central heating system. At the lowest point in the system (often on a radiator) there should be at least one draincock that allows you to drain the water. You might find others by the boiler or in other pipes..

To drain the system, first you should turn off your boiler or other type of water heater.  Then turn off the mains stopcock located inside your home (more about how to locate the mains stopcock). You shouldn’t have to turn off the water company’s stopcock, but you might as well to be on the safe side.

February 16, 2006

Water supply

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 4:28 pm

Identifying services

2, Water

Before you start doing any plumbing work you should identify the appropriate stopcocks to cut off that particular part of your water system.

There are two basic domestic water systems – indirect and direct..
The traditional water system is the indirect system. Cold water is supplied from the mains to the kitchen tap and to a storage tank in the loft which feeds the hot-water cylinder. The water is heated by a boiler or immersion heater.  The toilet and cold water tap in the bathroom also get their supply from the loft tank. Only the kitchen tap provides fresh drinking water.

February 7, 2006


Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 6:38 pm

Before you do any DIY around your house you should know where the main services are located in your home – water, gas and electricity. You must switch these off before you do any electrical or plumbing work. It is also useful to know in case of any emergency.

This series of articles will help you to identify where the main switches are for these services..

1 – GAS

Gas comes to our homes through underground pipes straight to the gas meter. Meters are normally located in a box attached to the external wall or, in older properties, they can be found inside: under the stairs, in the cellar or sometimes in the hallway.

January 25, 2006

Insulating water cylinders

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 2:15 pm

To save energy and money on your household bills insulate your hot and cold water cylinder. Both can be done easily.

Cold water tank

The easiest way to insulate a cold-water tank is to use a ready-made plastic insulation jacket that has fibre-glass padding. However, you can make your own jacket by using hardboard & roof insulation roll. Cut them to fit the sides & the lid of the tank, then glue the insulating material to the hardboard. Secure the panels around the tank with a piece of string. Alternatively put pieces of insulating material into black dustbin bags to create blankets. Wrap the blankets around the tank and tie them with string.

January 24, 2006

Draughtproofing your home

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 12:41 pm

Draughtproofing external doors and windows can reduce the amount of cold air entering your home and save you money on your heating bill..

Draughtproofing Doors

If there is a big gap at the bottom of any of your external you should fit a draught excluder. There are several different types of excluders – but they are all easy DIY jobs.

Draught Excluders

Brush seal excluder – this is like a brush attached to a long thin plastic or metallic holder. It is crewed to the bottom of the door and tight bristles keep out the draught.  It can be used on most types of doors including sliding doors. 

January 18, 2006

Reflective radiator panels

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 3:32 pm

About 25 per cent of the heat from radiators is lost to the wall behind. So fitting reflective panels behind radiators that are on external walls will almost certainly reduce heat loss and your bill!

Reflective radiator panels are cheap to buy and easy to install. They work by trapping the heat and reflecting it back into the room..

January 16, 2006

Loft Insulation

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 2:28 pm

Insulating a loft

Up to 30% of heat loss occurs as a result of poorly insulated roofs. By properly insulating your loft you could save a lot of energy and a lot of money. Loft insulation is an easy DIY job – but can be time consuming.

Loft insulation materials are made of mineral wool or cellulose fibres. They prevent the heated air moving through the material. There are two main types of insulation for roofs –  blanket insulation & loose fill insulation..

January 12, 2006

Saving Energy

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 2:34 pm

Save Energy – Save Money

One of our usual New Year resolutions is about consuming less – be that food, alcohol, cigies and other toxins. Why don’t you try to consume less energy this year? This could save you money and would also help the environment.

There are several simple ways to reduce our energy consumption without compromising on comfort. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this:.


  • Switch off lights when they are not needed
  • Use low-energy light bulbs & low voltage lighting wherever possible

August 31, 2005

VAT Refund

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 6:38 pm

Vat Refund on Home Improvement, refurbishment & conversion

Did you know that if you refurbish or convert a property, you can qualify for lower Vat on your costs? If you didn’t – you’re not alone as this is not widely promoted and many rules and regs apply.  emoticon

The change-of -use VAT Break was introduced in 2002 to encourage people to convert & refurbish existing buildings into homes rather than only building new ones that exempt from VAT charge.  You can claim a reduced VAT of 5% on bills and expenditure in the following scenarios:..

July 1, 2005

Home Improvement Tips

Filed under: Home Improvement — DO or DIY @ 6:20 pm

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