If you are completely new to the world of plumbing, then you are probably thinking that some tips on plumbing will help you immensely so that you can begin maintaining your own at home. Listed below are some tips to get you started with your home plumbing maintenance and repair.
Avoid frozen pipes this winter! Keep a small trickle of water dripping from faucets, and wrap your uninsulated pipes with foam or newspaper. If possible, keep the doors open between unheated and heated rooms. In an unheated area such as a garage or laundry room, keep a small heater next to the pipes. Remember to do this before the first cold snap hits.
Before you start a plumbing project you should tighten all of the pipes that are easily accessible. Especially if your pipes are making a range of loud banging sounds, as this is a clear sign that there are loose pipes along the line. It is also a good idea in case there is a clog so the excess pressure released does not break a loose pipe.
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.
Check your gas water heater periodically to make sure the pilot flame is lit. The correct color for this flame should be blue. The tip of the flame should be yellow. If you find that you are only seeing a yellow flame, you may need to call a professional for safety reasons.
If your sink is letting rusty water out and it will not drain, it is mostly likely because of the biological scum and grease that is built up in the pipes. You need to have your drains professionally cleaned, allowing maximum flow through your drains. Your drains must be open completely.
To keep your garbage disposal working at its best, use plenty of cold water when you turn it on. The cold water helps keep the blades sharp and can make disposal much smoother. If you use hot water, any grease in the disposal will liquefy, causing it to accumulate further down the drain, which could cause clogs.
Drain the sediment from the bottom of your hot water heater twice a year to keep the hot water heater working at its optimal levels. Simply open the drain valve and allow the water to run out into a bucket until the water runs clear. Then close the drain valve.
If you are using a slower head, see to it that you replace it with one that has good quality. Most times, people tend to think that it is alright to purchase the most inexpensive shower head they could find. Like many cheap products, however, cheap shower heads are often not durable.
Frozen pipes can lead to many problems, most of them expensive to fix. So you want to avoid that at all costs. To avoid frozen pipes, make sure the temperature in your home never drops below 55 degrees. Look for any air leaks around your pipes and make sure they’re sealed up.
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.
Make sure you shut off your main system before leaving your house for a few weeks. The water will stay in the pipes, but this should prevent any further damages in case a leak starts while you are away. Check that your shut-off valve is working properly before you leave.
If you have an underground leak in your pipes, it is possible to detect the leak before digging. Today’s leak detection equipment is very sophisticated and modern, allowing technicians to detect and pinpoint exactly where leaks are before they go about trying to fix them with professional grade equipment for you.
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.
A plumbing snake is an essential tool in any homeowner’s tool box. Snakes can be used to unclog kitchen and bathrooms drains and toilets when clogged with hardened debris. They are useful as well for grabbing hold of items dropped down sink drains. Snakes come in a variety of sizes for home use and heavier-duty models can often be rented for bigger jobs.
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.
To avoid plumbing disasters in your kitchen, never place hard-to-grind, stringy, fibrous waste, such as poultry skins, banana peels, carrots, celery, or cantaloupe pulp, into the garbage disposer. The disposer can’t sufficiently grind these food products and they will clog your sink drain. You should also run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposer to flush the waste down the main drain.
If your water bill seems unusually high and you haven’t changed your water usage, the problem is most likely in the service line. The cost to hire a professional to find and repair the service line most often is far greater than installing a new line and then having the old one shut off permanently.
As you can see from the above list of tips, maintaining and repairing your own plumbing can be very time and money-saving in the long run if you know what you are doing. After following these tips, you will no longer be new to plumbing, but you will become a plumbing expert.