So, Coronavirus has landed and we’re in lockdown for our own good. Confined to the home. You now have the time to get on with some DIY – for your own mental health and your home.
Taking on DIY jobs at the moment isn’t easy. The suppliers and DIY stores are generally shut, or, limited in stock and availability. Plus, you don’t want to do anything too difficult – you might get injured and have to go to hospital.
That’s why I racked my brain to put together this list of 8 DIY plumbing jobs to do during coronavirus lockdown. I’ve also made a wicked video (below) on my YouTube channel. Follow my YouTube here.
- Bleed your radiators. Grab a radiator key (you can find them in our Amazon Store here) and open the small square shaped key at the top of the radiator. Sometimes you’ll find the key on the inside of the radiator panel facing a wall and sometimes you’ll find that a slotted screwdriver can undo the key. Just slacken it. Don’t remove it! Wait for water to come out and tighten. Repeat on all your radiators. If you find that no air or water comes out, you might have a pressurised system that needs topping up.
- Balance your radiators. Central heating systems generally have one pump. That pump can only deliver a certain amount of flow. This flow needs to be distributed evenly around all the components of the heating system. We use the lockshield valve to regulate the flow through each radiator – ensuring the system is balanced. It’s easy to do – especially during the coronavirus lockdown! All you need to do is close the lockshield valve and then open it by ¼ turn. Not much! Then leave the system to run for 30 minutes. Any radiators that aren’t getting as hot as you’d like, just give them a crack more flow…but not much! Do that to every radiator and you’re done!
- Free the TRV (Thermostatic Radiator Valve) pin on every radiator. Easy to do (watch our video) just remove the TRV head, and wiggle the pin free (if it is stuck). Once it’s free give the valve a spray of lubricant and re-build. Set the TRV to 3 and leave alone! Do this to every radiator and you’re done!
- Remove radiators and flush them out. This is a detailed and difficult job if you don’t know what you’re doing. Full description here.
- Add inhibitor to the heating system water. If you’re lucky enough to get some inhibitor. (you can get some on our Amazon store here) Then this is a breeze. Find a towel rail in your home and turn off both valves. Open the bleed key to make sure the valves are holding. If so, slacken the nut on the radiator side of the radiator valve and drain out about 2 pints of water. You’ll need towels! Tighten up the nut and remove the whole air bleed at the top of the radiator. Tip in your inhibitor. Replace the air vent and tighten, open a radiator valve and bleed. Once bled, balance the radiator. Done!
- Clean your waste traps. Sound lovely doesn’t it? You’re in lockdown, hopefully surviving Coronavirus and this is the bit of DIY you choose to do. It’s fairly easy. Firstly empty the sink you’re working on and pop the plug in. Go under the sink and remove the whole trap (check the video) take it outside, dismantle and clean. Pop it together and re-install. Done!
- Re-silicone old silicone. Remove the old silicone using a window knife. Clean everything down and take 3 times as long as you think. Do this bit right and the application of the silicone will be even easier. Full description here.
- Insulate the pipes in the loft. Do this using proper insulation. If you don’t have any, try to hide your pipes under the loft insulation already there. This’ll pay dividends next winter when we’ve all got no money and the economy is ruined!