Here are our most frequently asked questions
A ball valve is a long metal or plastic arm with a ball at one end and a shut off mechanism at the other end to stop water flowing into the toilet cistern or any cold water tank. Cold water tanks are usually in a loft.
Ceramic disc taps are fully turned on by turning the handle through a quarter circle or 90°. Ceramic discs are specific to the make and model of tap. And if they do not work properly, they are easily replaced if you know the make and model of the tap.
A combi boiler heats up water as a hot tap is turned on, so there is no hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard. These boilers are not attached to a cold water tank, they are supplied by water from the mains. Easy ways to know if you have a combi boiler are – does the boiler come on each time you turn on a hot tap? Do you have an airing cupboard with a hot water tank in it?
A cistern is a container for water to flush the toilet. Its usually ceramic or it can be plastic. And it often seems to sit on the back of the toilet (this is called a close coupled toilet). You may see a pipe joining the cistern to the toilet (this is called low or high level toilet, depends how high up the wall the cistern is). Or the cistern may be hidden in a cupboard which the toilet pan sits in front of.
The toilet cistern appears to sit on the back of the toilet pan. It’s actually screwed in place.
A header tank is the smaller water tank, usually in your loft, which is the reservoir which tops up the water in your central heating system.
The cistern is separate from the toilet pan, is usually at least 2mtr (6ft) above the toilet and you can see the long pipe which joins them. It will always be flushed by a pulling a chain.
The cistern is separate from the toilet pan and you can see the pipe which joins them. It will almost always be flushed by a handle.
A siphon is the mechanism in the toilet which pushes water into the toilet pan. It’s activated by pushing or pulling the flush handle or pressing the flush button.
A torbeck valve is a variety of ball valve which has a short arm with a little cup hanging down from it. Torbeck valves are often used in small toilet cisterns.
TRV is a thermostatic radiator valve. It gives better control of heat coming out of a radiator than an ordinary non thermostatic valve.
This does the same flushing job as a siphon but in a different way. It literally dumps the water into the toilet pan. Push button toilets use this system.
Brands We Recommend
Aqualisa make very good quality showers and still manufacture in the UK. Also their customer service is excellent. Read more about Aqualisa here.
Dudley Turbo siphons (for toilets which are flushed with a handle) are excellent because they are made so that servicing takes minutes not hours. Read more about Dudley Turbo here.
Stuart Turner make very good quality pumps. They are a British company and started life in 1906 in Henley on Thames, where they are still based, making engines for river boats and other vehicles. Read more about Stuart Turner here.
Mira supply a decent range of sensibly priced showers and shower enclosures. https://www.mirashowers.co.uk/
Bristan supplies a large range of decent quality, sensibly priced showers and taps. https://www.bristan.com/
All Our Plumbing Services
We always ensure that our clients understand what we are doing. We won’t blind you with mystifying technical terms and we believe in full transparency and fairness.