AdviceAsk an expertPlumbing

Ask an expert: plumbing, decorating, joining and electrical puzzlers

If your heating’s playing up and you’re not sure why, or you’re finding a home improvement project challenging, our Ask an expert section is the place to go for some friendly advice. It’s an area of our site where you can ask tradespeople home improvement questions across 27 different categories.

As usual, our experts were asked for help with selecting the right type of tradesperson this week. It seems there’s a lot of uncertainty out there over which tradesperson you need to hire to take care of your job.


Biren asked who would remove a gas fireplace, plug up the gas pipe and remove his hearth and TS from D.E.S. explained that a Gas Safe registered engineer would be able to isolate and disconnect the gas appliance before removing it. Ann asked a question we see a lot on the forum – whether she’d need a plumber or electrician for a washing machine repair. Artan Merdanaj wrote back to her, explaining that she’d want to find an electrician to get this sorted.

If you’ve ever had a shower out of use for a long period of time you’d sympathise with Judith who had the below question for our experts:


Thankfully, Lewis of London and Kent Renovation put her mind at rest over the risk her shower posed to her health. A good run through of water to clear out the pipe is all that’s needed there – phew.

Decorating is one of the most popular DIY jobs we hear about, with the common belief that it’s relatively low risk if it doesn’t turn out as planned. Jean was thinking of applying new wallpaper but needed to clarify some terminology first. Does sizing the walls mean the same thing as lining the walls? Here’s what Sean of Premier Decorating Service had to say:

decor-questionIt seems it’s not one or the other but rather it’s always good to size them, with lining being optional depending on the condition of the walls that you’re working with.

For our kitchen experts, came this question from Josh, who bought three worktops from Ikea and wanted advice on how to join them together:


Not only did Justin explain how it could be done if they were timber worktops but he also threw in a tip – using the right oil is very important and you should give each worktop at least three coats.

Last but not least for this week’s recap, we have an electrical question from Paul who had already started trying to rewire his light but had gone from having two working lights to none. While Russell of RB Electrical Testing explained what the problem was likely to be, he also advised Paul to hire an electrician to do this. After all, electrics aren’t to be messed with unless you know exactly what you’re doing.


If you have your own home improvement question for our experts, head to our Ask section. If you’re not a fan of DIY, and would rather get some professional help instead, head to our homepage where you can post a job.

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