Taking a step into the wondrous and complex land of plumbing for the very first time might feel a bit daunting. However, by keeping the helpful tips listed below in mind, you will soon find yourself plumbing on par with some of the best plumbers in the field and maintaining your own easily.
Solder with safety in mind. When you solder a copper pipe you want to direct the flame on the copper pipe. The flame of the torch has to be four inches away from the piping. The flame should be targeted directly at the point where the copper piping needs to be disconnected.
Do not use the liquid cleaning supplies that are designed to clear clogs. These cleaners are harmful and can damage your pipes as they clear the clog. Instead of using damaging liquids, use a plunger or a plumbing snake. These are much more effective and will not harm pipes.
Make sure everyone that lives in your house knows where to find and use the main water shut off valve in case there is a burst pipe emergency. This is especially important if you live in an area where your pipes may freeze. Take a moment to show your family members where the valve is and how to properly shut it off.
Periodically check your pipes for leaks and cracks. These can be forgotten, since pipes are usually hidden away, but checking for leaks and cracks can help you identify a small problem before a big problem occurs. You may have to enlist the help of a family member to turn on and off the water stream as you are checking.
Check your floors for softness around toilets, so that you can ascertain if there is any floor damage. Sit on the toilet and move from side to side, placing one foot on the ground. As you do, see if the floor lacks sturdiness or feels otherwise soft. By noticing a problem early on, you can save yourself a bunch of money if you were to leave it alone.
DIY plumbing jobs will require that you understand how to solder copper for the lines for the water supply. You can practice this skill so that you will be able to run your lines without worrying about it leaking. Search online for video tutorials that can help you get a handle on how to go about soldering.
Make sure to pour a gallon or two of water into drains that are used infrequently. Not only does this make sure that they are clear when you need them, but can also fill the trap and make sure that unpleasant odors don’t enter your home. Doing this periodically will also help you to catch problems before they become serious.
Everyone in your home should know where the main water shut off valve is. By knowing where to find this valve, you’ll be able to shut off the water in the event a pipe bursts, a bathtub or toilet overflows or any other emergency that requires you to turn off the water.
Believe it or not, it is not a very good idea to use a plunger if your toilet is clogged. Plungers just push whatever is stuck deeper into the drain. Instead, it is a better idea to use a closet auger. It will do a better job and is affordable.
Garbage disposals are a common cause of plumbing problems, which is an easy problem to solve. Don’t just put everything down the disposal or treat it like a second trash can. Use the disposal things that would be difficult to dispose of normally. Putting all leftover food down the sink is a good way to produce clogs.
One way to prevent water heater problems is to turn down the heat. As long as the water is still as hot as needed for showers and washing dishes, turning it down won’t hurt anything, and will extend the life of the heater. Holding very hot water can corrode the inside.
In any DIY plumbing project, make sure that you always test the drains and the supply lines before you close up the walls. It is a lot easier to find and solve problems if you look for them while you are still in the process of actively doing the job.
To prevent pipe banging when you turn on the water, think about rubber blankets or straps. Instead of assuming the pipes need replaced, consider anchoring them or buffering them. If your pipes are plastic, leave them some room for expansion and contraction. If pipes do not leak but just make noise, eliminate the noise.
To lessen the amount of hair going into your home plumbing, thoroughly brush hair and use a body brush to remove loose body hair before entering the shower or bath. If it’s been a while since you have shaved your legs or face, use an electric razor to remove the longer hair, before shaving in the sink or shower.
When you are working on any kind of plumbing project, you always need a backup person. This is because, when working with water, you never know when an emergency can happen and that second pair of hands can come in very useful! This can even be an unskilled person who can follow directions.
When replacing any PVC type pipes in your home, make sure you buy the correct PVC for the job. PVC comes in several different sizes and grades as well as for different temperature applications. If the water going through the pipes is headed for the kitchen or bathroom, or is for laundry or gardening usage, it must be labeled as “Potable.”
If you do a lot of work outdoors, you’ll need to take frequent breaks in the shade. You can easily forget that the sun’s hot rays are shining down on you while you are working.
So, after reading and applying the helpful tips listed above, you should feel a bit more at ease in the land of plumbing. You have the tools; it’s time to use them. You should feel empowered and ready to begin your plumbing journey to start taking care of your home’s plumbing system.