Have you ever had a plumbing problem that you felt you couldn’t solve on your own? Was the problem just over your head? Were you afraid of what might happen if you mess with things you don’t understand? Read on to find out how to become more confident about solving problems next time your plumbing goes wrong.
Make sure you know where your home’s water shutoff is located. You never know when there might be an emergency involving a broken pipe or damaged connection that requires you to turn off the water right away. In addition, knowing where the shutoff is located is vital before you start any plumbing project, in case anything goes wrong.
Use a hairdryer to thaw frozen pipes, after you shut off the water to the house. A hairdryer will gently heat the pipe and thaw the ice without causing significant damage to the pipe. Shutting off the water first means that if the pipe is broken, there will be no rush of water into the house.
Have you tried patching your pipe with the store-bought patching kits only to have that section of your plumbing continue leaking? Replacing the damaged pipe is a more permanent solution than patching. First, you must shut off the main water valve, and drain the water from the damaged section. Cut out the damaged section of the copper pipe, leaving about an inch of extra pipe on both sides of the damaged area. Remove corrosion from inside the pipes with a wire brush. Apply flux to the replacement pipe and the remaining pipe. Slide the piece of replacement pipe into place with couplings. Apply solder all around the joint, and use a propane torch to solder the replacement section into place.
If you want to add some water pressure to the shower or any spigot in the home, make sure you clean out the aerator. The aerator should be removed and taken apart. Then, clean with a tiny brush swabbed in vinegar. Finally, rinse off the aerator, put it back together and then reattach it to your faucet. This should help increase the water pressure, because any obstacles in the aerator will have been removed.
If you have drains in your house that have not been used for a long period of time, pour one gallon of water through them to keep them functional. Furthermore, this will have the added benefit of reducing any odors from entering your house from lack of use during the year.
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.
If you own property where the temperature gets below freezing for an extended amount of time each year, you should make sure that pipes located in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces and garages, are insulated. Pipes that are exposed to the outside elements or those that are prone to freezing, should be protected by heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables to prevent them from freezing.
If the water is not going into your dishwasher, the first thing you should do is shit off the water under the sink. Chances are that you have some kind of blockage, and keeping the water turned on could actually create a bigger problem. To fix the blockage, you may need to call a plumber.
Use a product like BioBen if you are planning to leave your system shut off for a few weeks. Water will still remain in the pipes and could start smelling because it is not moving. This type of product will keep the water from stagnating and from smelling too bad.
If you are thinking about becoming a plumber yourself, then you should first try to start out as an apprentice. If you can find a good mentor then you will learn a great deal more from watching and assisting him than you possibly could learn by working on projects alone.
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.
Many people complain of low water pressure. While there are several things that can cause this, one must not be overlooked when starting your investigation. What kind of pipes do you have? If your piping is galvanized, you are better off just replacing your piping which will eliminate the issue.
To prevent hair from clogging your drains, install strainers in each tub and shower to capture the hairs before they can go down the drain. When combined with soap build-up, hair can bring your drains to a complete standstill, so it’s important to prevent the hairs from reaching the pipes in the first place.
Having to wiggle the toilet handle or hold it down to get your toilet to fully flush indicates that the tank parts need to be replaced. Kits that include all of the parts needed can be purchased in any hardware or home improvement store to easily do the repair yourself.
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.
As you can see, plumbing isn’t such a scary thing, it just requires proper knowledge and instruction. Fixing your own plumbing can save a lot of money. Hopefully this article has given you at least a few of the ideas that you need, so that next time your plumbing has a problem, you can fix it yourself.