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    Strange socket behavior

    On a switched 13A socket, I tried to run a vacuum cleaner. But, it wouldn't come on. I used the non-contact test beeper on the socket and it was beeping when near the switch. The vacuum ran fine from another socket. I opened up the faulty socket while the vacuum was plugged in and used a neon...
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    Gate or ball valve for central heating pump

    I need to replace the the feed side isolating valve of the pump. The ball valve is cheaper. Is there a disadvantage to it? It is known that ball vales are not good for throttling. But, throttling will not be needed for this application.
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    What to do with slack cable

    I have a rather silly looking slack cable I can't work out how to deal with. Clipping it to the skirting board still doesn't look right. What's the pro solution?
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    Extractor fan stopped working

    I have 2 Emcovent EV4T bathroom extractor fans. One in the area that the builders have been playing with has stopped working. I don't know if the fan is faulty or the wires that feed it are. How do I diagnose? I have taken the fan off and disassembled it for cleaning. Nothing in it is burnt. The...
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    Leak on newly installed kitchen

    The leak appears to be In the elbow piece. Water at mains pressure comes in from behind the chipbaord. Is this a common problem or is the fittings used unsuitable? How hard to replace the elbow? The elbow appears to have external threads where it goes through the chipboard.
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    Access port clearance

    There's an access port to the main soil pipe serving 3 flats. I don't know how the port is normally used to fix blockages. I am concerned the opening on the tiled wall may not give enough clearance to the port. Can anyone confirm my fears?
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    How to use Ultracolor Plus

    I found an old bag of Ultracolor Plus and want to use it. According to youtube videos, it's not something for beginners. The last time I played with grout was 15 years ago. So, I am a beginner. I need to regrout a small access panel, and don't need much grout. What ratio of powder to water do I...
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    Is glue used in vinyl planks?

    I need to have the vinyl floor planks lifted. Do they just click together, or is glue used in the clicking mechanism?
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    Drainage for over head pressure tank overflow

    The overflow of a small overhead pressure tank is being fed into this device. My concern is that the open vented device will let in smell and evaporated waste water. It might even cause a flood if there is a blockage somewhere. Am I scaring myself silly for no reason? Thanks.
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    Big hole at door

    My flat has a 100cm x 4cm hole on the interior side of the false balcony door. The hole is probably to do with the cavity in the cavity wall. The hole is covered by water proof membrane, concrete, and then glued 2mm vinyl. Some of the concrete is already gone because it sat atop the flexible...
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    Disconnection of kitchen plinth fan heater (Floor level heater delete)

    The kitchen in my flat is being rebuilt. Originally, under one of the kitchen base units, there was a fan heater on the floor level. The new kitchen doesn't come with a similar heater. What should be done with the wire that was connected to the heater? The wire comes out of the bottom of a...
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    Scaffold hire long term

    I see plenty of properties with hired scaffolds up for almost ever. When I look at the prices, hired scaffolding prices are really quite expensive. So, how do people afford an almost perma-scaffolding? They have some secret sauce I am missing. Explain the mystery please.
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    Builder insurance

    If a builder claims to have insurance. How do I check they do?
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    Fire shield removed

    I have a building contractor doing refurbishment and installing a false ceiling in a flat. For some reason (I am guessing to make room) they ripped off the shielding indicated by the arrow. Can anyone explain what that shield is for and is it needed? It was stuck in place with silicone, and not...
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    Lock thingy

    Can someone tell me what this thing is called and if it's possible to get a new one without the corresponding door lock?
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    Pay by phone parking

    I parked in a pay by phone parking bay for less than 10 minutes while I got a quick key cut. Will I get fined for it? The internet says there's a 10 minute grace period. Is this universal for London?
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    Patching soffit board

    I am looking to patch a water damaged soffit board, and wondering if anyone can tell me how this particular board is structured? I can see it is inserted into the wall on one side (rather it sits atop the wall) and fits into a groove at the back of the fascia board. It is not clear to me how the...
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    Broken gutter support bracket

    Is there a known bodge for a broken gutter support bracket without replacing it? To replace it would involve unclipping a long section of a 30 year old gutter, risking breaking more brackets or other bits. I want to add support at the broken bracket. Is there any special products for that? I am...
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    Looking for grey paint

    I am looking for exterior oil based grey gloss paint for wood and metal. I prefer a 10 year label. Any suggestions? The grey I need is like the following or a little darker:
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    Front door furniture

    I am looking for no/low maintenance furniture for the front door. I currently have brass at various states of tarnish. Is there anything better than brass? How good are chrome furniture? I have chrome bolt sockets that never corrode or change colour. This could be because they are sheltered in...