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Do I need new pipes, or just new taps?

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greenlily | 15:51 Thu 20th Oct 2011 | DIY
11 Answers
Hi, hope someone can help.

The cold taps in my bathroom (sink and bath) only let a 'dribble' of water through. They've been like this since I moved in about a year ago. The hot taps are fine.

I haven't a clue about plumbing, so I'm not sure whether this is because of a blockage in the taps themselves, or something to do with the pipes - is there any easy way of telling this (I'm happy to shell out for new taps, but paying for new pipework might be a bit more difficult)? Or anything else I can try?

In case it's important, I live in a first-floor flat (of a two-storey), built in the early 70s.

I'd be really grateful for any suggestions - thank you!
GL

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As Bill says, find your incoming stopcock and check that it's fully open. Do you have a separate supply from the downstairs flat? If you have your own water bill, than it must be separate.
Next, close the stopcock and see if that stops the water in the bathroom taps. If not, then they are fed from a tank (probably in your roof space.) It's not done now, but was...
16:56 Thu 20th Oct 2011
-- answer removed --
As Bill says, find your incoming stopcock and check that it's fully open. Do you have a separate supply from the downstairs flat? If you have your own water bill, than it must be separate.
Next, close the stopcock and see if that stops the water in the bathroom taps. If not, then they are fed from a tank (probably in your roof space.) It's not done now, but was quite common in the 70s.
If they're tank fed, there may be a long standing airlock in the system.
Question Author
Thank you!
Yes, I have my own metered water supply. It's definitely tank-fed water, I had to go up to my loft space and clear the tank when I moved in (lots of lovely little animal pieces in my bath water. Hmmm... wonder if there could be a filter blockage? I'll check that as well as the possibility of an airlock).
Thanks again, that's really helpful :)
GL
Just to see if a bit of corrosion is causing the spindles not to turn...try dropping some baby oil, or even cooking oil, onto th top of the cold tap and working them around. It can't do any harm and just might work.
Following on from Mosaic's post. If the hot tap works Ok then count the number of turns from shut to fully open and compare this with the figure you get for the cold taps.
This will tell whether you have problems with the taps.
If all is OK then check the supply as suggested.
I expect you need replacement tap valves. This happens with the modern (one turn) type.
If you find that it is the taps that are the problem you can get replacement internal bits from places such a s Screwfix.

http://www.screwfix.c...rs-4.1/&company=ae235
Question Author
Wow, thanks everyone, this is so helpful (I love this website!).
Definitely worth a go with the taps first - will update on how I get on...!
Thank you so much! :D
GL
-- answer removed --
Question Author
I just realised that I hadn't updated on this - the problem was that the stopcock wasn't fully open (the stopcock was cleverly hidden from me, in my defence).
Thanks The Builder - and Bill too (though his answers have disappeared!) for sugegsting this. And thanks to all for taking time to answer! :D

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