Ever wondered if your shower’s affecting your health? Or why your electrics smell of fish? New research reveals all…

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  • We explore the UK’s weirdest home maintenance problems, and get the all important answers

    Have you ever asked Google a slightly odd question about your house and thought it was just you? If you’ve ever asked if your shower was making you ill, why your electrics smell of fish or why your toilet seat was turning purple, you’re not alone.

    New research, by home maintenance firm Aspect, analysed Google search data to discover the issues that cause the most concern, and confusion, for UK homeowners. The results revealed the weird and wonderful things asked within the past year regarding home maintenance.

    Among those are ‘Is my shower making me ill?’, ‘Why do my electrics smell of fish?’ and ‘Why is my bath water green?’. Not pleasant, but clearly good questions as they are surprisingly common.

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    What else gave us cause for concern…

    Bizarre home maintenance problems

    home maintenance problems

    Ideal Home

    The nature of the questions appears to depend on the type of property we live in. Those living in smaller properties are more concerned with ongoing maintenance issues. The most commonly entered searches for people living in flats were ‘Why is my flat is so cold’, ‘Is my flat making me ill?’ and ‘Why is my flat so dusty?’.

    The top three weirdest electrical queries were, ‘Why do my electrics smell of fish?’, ‘Is my fuse box illegal?’ and ‘Why is my fuse box clicking?’.  The three
    Weirdest plumbing questions were ‘Why are my taps vibrating?’, ‘Why is my bath water green?’ and ‘Why are my drains gurgling?’.

    It seems no question is too odd to ask if it concerns us.

    home maintenance problems

    Aspect Home Maintenance

    Not only did the research team at Aspects unearth the most commonly asked questions, they provided the answers…

    Our bizarre questions answered

    We asked ‘Why do my electrics smell of fish?‘ They answered, ‘If a connection is damaged, it can start to smell a bit fishy. Always call a professional electrician to investigate for you.’

    Why is my toilet seat turning purple?‘ The experts say, ‘No one really knows why. Pregnant women sometimes find their toilet seat turns a purple/blue colour. It’s also been speculated that some medications can cause the skin to leave a blue/purple mark on plastic. Of course, if you’ve been wearing a new pair of jeans, it could be that the dye has stained your backside and it’s rubbed off.’

    ‘Why is my bath water green?’  Here’s why, ‘Green/blue water suggests a problem with copper piping. Elevated copper levels can cause health problems, so it’s important to have this fixed by a professional as soon as possible.’

    ‘Is my shower making me ill?  The verdict is, ‘If you clean your shower head regularly, it should stay relatively free of bacteria. UK tap water comes fresh from underground sources, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, so is safe to bathe in unless United Utilities advises differently.’

    home maintenance problems

    Lizzie Orme

    Aspect’s director of operations, Nick Bizley says, ‘While some of the queries are quite obscure, it’s a positive sign that we’re so curious about our homes and what makes them tick. As long as people take the relevant health and safety precautions – especially concerning ladders and tools – and they don’t tackle any tasks that involve safety regulations, like gas or electric work, it can be extremely rewarding to figure out and fix our own home maintenance problems. There’s a lot of great advice online to help with this too.’

    “It’s also a good sign that so many of the queries – such as ‘is my roof safe to walk on?’ or ‘are my windows energy efficient?’ suggest that the UK has a healthy curiosity about safety and energy efficiency.’

    Read the full Q&A here.

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