Resolve not to fall victim to plumbing problems this ne

It's a new year and, with the last of the Christmas turkey finally finished off and the recycling bin overflowing with empty bottles, it's time for many people to turn their attentions to their new year's resolutions.

But while aims such as exercising more, stopping smoking or eating healthier can be tough to meet with just your willpower, there are a few less stressful resolutions you could be making that are not only achievable, but can help you keep your home warm and safe for the year ahead.

Indeed, that's why operations manager at the Chartered Institute of Heating and Plumbing Engineering Danny Davis has been offering a few suggestions for what you can do to make sure your bathrooms and central heating equipment are well-maintained and not costing you money.

For starters, one of the simplest things you should do is know where your stopcock is. This is something you'll definitely need to be familiar with if the worst happens and you encounter a plumbing problem, but surprisingly, a lot of people wouldn't know where to look if they found water flowing into their home.

Other steps you can resolve to take this year to prevent major problems is to make sure all your pipes are well insulated, particularly those in the attic or roof space. This will have make sure you don't suffer from frozen or burst pipes during the worst of the winter weather.

Mr David also suggested people need to stop ignoring minor plumbing problems, such as dripping taps or constantly-running overflow pipes. While these may seem harmless, they can often be the first symptoms of a plumbing system that is in need of maintenance.

But while this may seem like the perfect excuse to do a bit of DIY - another common new year's resolution - homeowners need to be wary about tackling major plumbing works on their own.

"Trying a bit of DIY on your plumbing or heating system can not only be dangerous and expensive, but could also drop you in hot water with the law," Mr Davis warned. "If you do not know 100 per cent what you are doing, DIY interference with plumbing and heating systems can result in serious damage, expensive repair bills and potential health hazards."

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