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What do you do when the tap won’t work? Search on YouTube for some plumbing tips, obviously

PUBLISHED: 18:12 22 October 2016 | UPDATED: 18:12 22 October 2016

YouTube saved Sheena Grant from an expensive plumbing bill

YouTube saved Sheena Grant from an expensive plumbing bill

Copyright: Chepko Danil

I almost had what can only be described as a Claudia Winkleman moment at the end of last week, writes Sheena Grant.

If you’re imagining it had anything to do with copious amounts of black eyeliner or a fringe so heavy that it made standing upright without toppling forward a challenge, think again.

No, this Claudia Winkleman moment related to a story the Strictly Come Dancing presenter told when she appeared on an episode of BBC1’s Would I lie to You?

It involved a builder who had been doing some work on her roof and a TV remote control. Apparently, Claudia called out her builder when her TV wouldn’t work as she was sure an aerial or some other piece of vital TV equipment must have been dislodged during the building work.

It turned out, however, that she just needed a new battery in her remote control. It was a mistake that was certainly embarrassing and could have been costly too, had the builder charged for his time.

I thought about Claudia and her TV remote a couple of days later when my bathroom hot water tap wouldn’t work.

The tap turned, in a clunky, grinding sort of way, but no water came out. Could it have anything to do with the fact that my central heating boiler had been serviced the day before?

Thankfully I learned from Claudia’s experience and instead of reaching straight for the phone and calling out the plumber, I set about trying to fix it myself.

I started with my trusty Reader’s Digest DIY book, which has helped me out of many a tight domestic spot over the years.

Once I’d read its words of wisdom I started to suspect a washer in the tap mechanism needed replacing, a diagnosis that seemed even more certain once I’d sought additional plumbing advice on YouTube.

Now all I had to do was change the washer. But as I attempted to shut off the water supply and open up the tap mechanism (it wasn’t as easy as the pictures in the book made it look) I discovered what the real problem was: limescale.

The scaly scourge of Suffolk’s water had jammed the mechanism and stopped the flow of water. Once I’d chipped it away the tap was as good as new. And I had neither the embarrassment - nor the cost - of calling out a plumber. I know not all domestic crises are as easily sorted but it just shows it’s always worth trying the obvious before calling in the costly experts. All I can say is, thanks Claudia.

Share your thrifty tips via email or tweet using #ThriftyLiving.

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