Professional plumbing is often a very expensive service, and usually the work that is done is something that any homeowner could solve fairly easily with the proper knowledge and tools. If you’d like to start learning to solve your own plumbing problems, read on to see what you can do.
Find a plumber that you can trust. Make sure to get referrals from friends and family so that you can prevent getting ripped off, which happens often. Also make sure not to pay the plumber before the work is completed. If you do that, there will not be an incentive to get the job completed in a timely manner.
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.
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.
Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut off valve is and that they know how to work it. That way, if there is a water problem, anyone in your household can turn off the water, thereby reducing the chances that your home will incur major water damage.
To avoid freezing pipes in the winter, make sure to insulate any exposed pipes in you basement before winter comes. Pay extra attention to pipes near the outside walls. If you have had a problem with any particular pipe freezing in the past, apply some heat tape to insulate those pipes.
When you’re going away on a vacation, you should consider shutting off the water supply to your home. This can help stop many problems before they start. If you don’t do this, you should have someone stop by your house regularly to check that nothing has gone wrong and that your home isn’t flooded.
If sewage is backed up in your toilet, it’s most likely the result of a sever blockage of the branch line that connects the sewage line and main line. You can run a device through this called a snake to try to clean up the clog. Or you can also purchase some specific drain cleaner and hope that works. If not, you’ll have to call in the professionals.
When plunging a drain to attempt to remove a blockage, first make sure that the drain is completely covered in water. This helps to form a seal. Then, plunge at least fifteen to twenty times before stopping. Repeat the process two to three times. If this doesn’t work, try a chemical drain cleaner.
Make sure your plumbing contractor has the proper insurance before letting them work in your home. This is a big problem with all types of construction contractors. They may have the proper licenses, but because of the high cost of insurance, they may not be properly insured and can end up on your homeowners policy if they get hurt.
Because plumbing is a mysterious and hidden field to a lot of homeowners, they are willing to take any claim and any bill from a plumber at face value, no matter how ridiculous it is. If you own your own home, you owe it to yoruself and your wallet to learn enough about plumbing basics to at least understand what a plumber is doing and why. This also helps you to not get ripped off.
To keep the pipes in your kitchen in tip-top shape, avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the drain. These liquid fats solidify in the pipes and create clogs. As an added protection, wipe congealed grease from pots to further avoid creating clogged drains. By following these tips, you can help avoid a plumbing disaster.
Be sure to have a running toilet fixed as soon as you can. Having a running toilet uses more water, which raises your water bill. To fix it yourself, you just have to find out what the problem is and buy the supplies you need. If you can’t fix it yourself, call a plumber.
Avoid flushing cotton balls, cotton swabs and any feminine sanitary products down the toilet. Even small panty liners can cause big problems because their adhesive backing can stick to pipes and cause stoppages. Keep a small, covered wastebasket next to the toilet to encourage guests to properly dispose of used sanitary articles.
Keep an eye on the grout between tiles in your bathroom. Watch for cracks and areas where the grout seems to be falling out, and repair them immediately. Small grout crack issues can be easily repaired by pulling out the bad and putting in new grout. Allow any new grout to dry completely before exposing it to water.
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.
The best thing you can do if you smell a foul odor coming from your toilet is to call a plumber. There is a good chance that you may have a sewer backup. Not only can this cause pipe damage, but inhaling the smells from sewer backups is harmful to your help.
As you can see, plumbing isn’t as difficult as you may have believed. Many plumbing problems can be solved easily with things on hand, or with a few inexpensive parts. Next time you have a problem with your plumbing, try using the tips in this article to solve it yourself!