Nobody really wants to think about having a huge plumbing issue in their home that requires a plumber. That’s because it can get expensive and can ruin your floors and other items in your home, if it gets out of hand. Never fear because you can learn to do your own to prevent such problems by following these tips below.
To avoid clogs, pay attention to what you flush. Sanitary napkins, thick toilet paper and baby wipes should never be flushed. These items can expand and cause a clog, or get caught on a pipe. Instead, dispose of them in a sanitary way that does not involve flushing them down the toilet.
Do not put cooking oils, fat, or grease, down your drain. These fats cause clogs by solidifying in pipes. To properly dispose of fats, put them in a bowl with a lid that you can dispose of. Once it gets hard, throw it in the trash or compost bin.
Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem that no-one wants, so plan now to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the exterior water shut-off valve located inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water that has collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside so they don’t crack from the cold weather.
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.
Keep grease, fat and oil out of your kitchen drain. These materials may be liquid when you pour them in, but they will solidify and cause problems. This is primarily true if you are someone who has a garbage disposal; the fats will make the blades go slower and less freely. Make sure you dispose of oils away from the sink.
If you have problems with a slow drain, there are easier things you can do other than removing the pipes to clean it. There are certain tools made just for this purpose that you insert into the drain to loosen the clog so it washes away or grab it and remove it completely.
To be successful in any plumbing project, make sure you turn the water off before you start unscrewing pipes. This tip might actually sound insulting, but you are probably getting caught up in having the right tools and parts and being dressed right. Double check that there is not a splash waiting for you. Then triple and quadruple check.
When chilly weather approaches, it is time to disconnect your water hoses from your outside faucets. If you forget to do this, water in the hoses can freeze and expand. This can cause the faucets and the connecting pipes inside your house to freeze and break. By simply rolling up your garden hoses and storing them for the winter, you can help prevent costly plumbing repairs.
If you find that your pipes have frozen during the cold winter months open all the faucets in your home. This lowers the water pressure for when the pipes thaw and the water is freely flowing again. Make sure to open all the faucets not just those that are frequently used.
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you want to consider getting a spring-loaded timer which can be attached directly to your hose. This prevents your lawn from getting too much water in case you forget to turn your system off. Getting too much water could kill your grass and plants.
Never try to undertake a project that you are unsure of. Additionally, never call on a friend to help you with something, if they are not a professoinal. There have been hundreds of good friendships ruined by a guy claiming to know exactly what he is doing, when the truth is he is clueless.
If you cannot turn off your main water valve before leaving on vacation, turn off the individual valves for the toilets, sinks, and washing machine. If the valves do not look like they are in good working order, then leave them on and that will be something that you need to have changed when you return.
To make sure your sump pump will run in an emergency, routinely test it by adding several buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on, remove the water and turn off with ease. Do this regularly, especially if your sump pump doesn’t run that often, to ensure it will work when needed most.
Never pour grease of any kind down your kitchen drains, especially grease from animal sources, which tends to harden rather quickly. The grease can congeal in your pipes and cause disastrous clogs and back-ups. It’s better to dispose of grease in the trash to keep your drains flowing well.
If your lawn has areas where the grass grows very quickly compared to the rest, seems constantly wet or has a noxious odor you may have a sewer line leak. A leak or crack in sewage pipes can be repaired if caught early and save thousands of dollars in failed septic inspection expenses.
Check for calcium and mineral deposits by turning on both the kitchen sink and the bathtub. If the volume of water is low, it may be time for you to replace pipes due to deposits of calcium and other minerals. Check the water pressure and consider calling a professional to handle the entire job.
Plumbing can incredibly fickle and being left with a huge plumbing bill or water damage can be disappointing to say the least. Do yourself a favor and follow these tips to start fixing and installing your own plumbing.