Copacetic

Ace King, check it out!

How to remove an airlock from a mixer tap

with 13 comments

We recently had a blocked drain that required sluicing copious amounts of water through it (as well as a bit of poking with a sharp stick) in order to unblock it. No problemo. Unfortunately the copious water sluicing drained our water tank in the attic.

What does this mean? Well you get airlocks in the pipe system. Airlocks mean no water. A bubble of air sits in the pipe between the tap and the tank and blocks the water getting through. So you need to get rid of the air. God bless Google, lets just whack in “plumbing airlocks” into Google and get lots of hits.

The basic theory is you use the pressure in the working tap to force the airlock out of the the blocked tap. Requires pipes and jubilee clips, basically you need to have been a plumber once.

However nobody seems to get airlocks in mixer taps. Well I had a brainwave tonight. So as indicated in the picture attach a balloon to the tap. Then;

  1. Open the airlocked tap
  2. Open the tap with water flowing
  3. Let the balloon fill
  4. Close the tap with water flowing
  5. Now with the airlocked tap still open, squeeze the balloon to allow the water to force the air out
  6. Rinse and repeat until the balloon starts to fill because water has started to flow

Sorted.

A few hundred quid in plumbing fees saved and me with a big shit-eating DIY grin on my face.

Written by Joe

June 3, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

13 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Had a similar problem once and had a cure similar to your own, but no balloon.
    1. Open the airlocked tap.
    2. Block the opening at the end of the tap with my palm, wrapped in a towel to stop spray.
    3. Open the functioning tap.

    Depending on pressure and the size of the air lock, should be sorted in a few minutes. Just be careful if your functioning tap is the Hot one and the water is scalding.

    (BTW, refreshing to see such a post in my reader this morning, a nice change from hi-tech).

    Ant Galvin

    June 4, 2009 at 10:20 am

    • Hi Ant, Thank you for your suggestion of airlock in mixer taps. I am 59yr old woman and just came back from holidays to find no cold water feed in bathroom. Your solution is brilliant and has saved me a lot of time and money getting a plumber in,

      Rita

      September 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

    • Thanks for your much appreciated assistance. I’m such a grumpy geeza without a hot morning shower.

      Sonny

      November 30, 2011 at 1:46 am

  2. […] Crimea war in 1854, collided in the air and fused together. Wow!Can he fix it? Yes Joe can. Useful plumbing tip from Joe.Three is the magic number. Not if you switch to Vodafone though as Michele found out. […]

  3. Simple but effective solution. Its nice to see such innovation still goes on. AT least ill know what to do if i encounter the same problem. Hopefully i won’t need to but…

    Solicitors Wakefield

    June 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

  4. Well done Joe. Good diy work…

    Conor.

    conor

    July 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  5. Tried blocking the tap as Ant said- Worked a treat, going out to have a pint on the money I saved on a plumber!!! Thanks lads, Shane

    Shane

    January 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm

  6. Have no idea how I came across you post but the balloon idea really is just putting a forced backlow onto the system. Was a great idea though – the plumbers have a hose contraption for this. I am suprised the baloon rim did not squirt out – but good show either way. Also I am going to have to look up the word “sluicing” never heard that one before.

    John Schenks

    April 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

  7. Hi John,

    Yes, you have to hold the rim of the ballon, but its not that hard to do.

    Joe.

    jdrumgoole

    April 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm

  8. Hi Joe, tried this and thought it was a great idea but unfortunately never worked for me as I have a slow trickle of water coming out of the hot water tap so its hard to push the water back up. I’ve tried covering the spout with my hand but water just goes everywhere. Any other ideas?

    Helen

    helen

    February 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

  9. Like the ideas but there is no hot water coming out of any hot water tap so think the air lock is in the tank. The kitchen sink has a mixer tap, (one that lifts and turns). Can I try it with a bathroom tap, the tank is next to the tap?

    Jacqui

    November 26, 2013 at 8:52 am

  10. Thanks Joe,

    Didn’t have a balloon but thought lets stick the hand on it as suggested above based on the principles above and try and seal it as I switched one tap off and sure enough it fired water off the roof and into my face but now works fine! What a legend I’ve been putting up with struggling to brush my teeth for the past two weeks! I don’t have a tank but my water is off a combi boiler. The mixer stopped working after I scrubbed the bottom of the tap when cleaning and scrubbing the basin! It’s so great when you fix it yourself given your tips!

    William Cranston

    November 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: