Plumbing does not have to be as complicated as most people make it out to be. There are some basic things that you need to know about plumbing systems, as well as, having the necessary tools to do your own repairs. This article may have a few useful tips and tricks that you can add to your tool belt.
You always want to solder correctly, the biggest mistake most people make when soldering is failing to get the interior of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe clean and shiny. Polish these surfaces with a fine emery clot until bright. When soldering, never heat the pipe, but instead heat the fitting. Doing so allows the solder to be drawn into the fitting by capillary action.
To keep your pipes from getting frozen, always maintain a temperature in the house above freezing and make sure all pipes exposed to outside elements are insulated properly. Pipes will begin to freeze as soon as they reach freezing temperatures. In the best situation, it can take hours for frozen pipes to thaw and water to run freely again. They could also burst costing you a lot of money and repairs.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
If your pipes are prone to freezing, let the water trickle continuously in at least one faucet during weather that is below freezing. This will minimize the chances that the pipes will freeze and leave you without water. If water is continually running through the pipes and trickling out of a faucet, the pipes are less likely to freeze.
When you wash your hands, be sure that you have not left any soap on the faucet handles. What people do not know is that leaving soap on these fixtures can cause fixtures to corrode. Just take two seconds after you are done washing your hands to remove excess soap from the handles.
If you are trying to get a clean-out plug removed, but not getting very far, there are a couple of things you can do. First, the clean-out fitting can be loosened with a hammer and chisel. Unfortunately, if you still cannot remove the plug, the only viable option left on the table is to bust right through the plug completely with the hammer and chisel.
Teach kids how to shut off the toilet’s water supply. Kids are notorious for putting large wads of toilet paper and other things into the toilet, which inevitably leads to the toilet overflowing. Especially if your bathroom has carpet, show kids how to turn the water valve off if the toilet water keeps rising, to prevent the mess of an overflow.
When looking to find a good plumbing contractor, don’t forget to check contractors against Department of Consumer Affairs records. There you can check on their license to see if it is valid, and also if there is any consumer complaints against the contractor. If a plumber does not have a current license and even a limited number of complaints, you probably don’t want them working on your home.
Heat up frozen pipes carefully if they have frozen. In colder regions, pipes placed closest to outer walls and ceilings could freeze if not properly insulated. Use hot rags, hot water, a blow dryer or similar heat source. Start heating at a place nearest the tap, then work backwards.
For people who live in an apartment complex, plumbing is often forgotten about. The first time they move into a home they are unable to resolve any minor plumbing problems, because they have never dealt with this kind of thing. It is good to get a basic understanding when moving into your first house.
Governmental regulations sometimes prevent plumbers from actively providing maintenance to copper piping. If you have a calcium buildup in your copper piping, you are going to need to take care of this yourself. You have to get rid of all the water and add vinegar which eats away the calcium buildup out of copper pipes.
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.
It is a general rule of thumb that you should replace a water faucet every seven years, even if you do not see anything wrong with it. Some faucet problems are not visible to the naked eye, which is why it is so important for them to replaced every so often.
When trying to unclog drains, never use any chemical drain openers. Even though these products may help to open up your drain, the chemicals in them can cause damage to your body, especially if they get on your skin. If you must use them, wear long sleeves and gloves.
Do not shock yourself! Water and electricity do not mix well! If you are working with both electrical and plumbing issues at the same time, then you must avoid crossing them. Beware! The two together can be deadly! When water and electricity are mixed, the risk of getting a shock can be incredibly high, as well as deadly.
Plumbing can be a very effective skill to have in your tool belt for whatever needs you may have. You may already know the basics and want to know how to save time and money by doing repairs, yourself. No matter your reasons, hopefully, the tips in this article has given you some ideas.