Maintaining and repairing your own plumbing is an essential part of home improvement, but understanding it and buying the right equipment can be tricky. There are lots of things to consider for your particular plumbing job. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get started with your own plumbing jobs.
To help you repair a leaky water line, you should hire a plumber. A leaky water line can be a problem because it could lead to a flood. The best way to fix this problem is to hire a licensed plumber who is trained to repair the leak.
If you have noisy pipes, you can cushion them with a rubber blanket or add additional anchor straps. Banging pipes are usually caused by loose pipes, water hammering to a stop as you turn it off, or hot water pipes shifting in their position. All of these problems can be solved by cushioning and anchoring the pipes.
To winterize a house that will sit unused during the winter months, you must completely drain all of the pipes. After turning off the main water supply, let all of the water drain from the faucets, toilets, and water heater (turn off the gas). Add a quart of antifreeze to sinks and the tub to prevent water from freezing in the drain trap.
One way to prevent pipes from freezing during the winter is to keep cabinet doors in your house that contain the pipes open. This can insure that they get adequate heat to keep warm. Make sure also, to unhook and kind of hose outside and run a little water to clear the pipes of any remaining water going outside.
To avoid sediment buildup, drain gallons of water from your water heater to flush any corrosion. This will help your heater to run more efficiently therefore saving you regular energy costs. Make sure to read your heater’s instructions before attempting this, and do this periodically to make sure that your heater is running as well as it can.
Do not ignore a slow flushing toilet. This is usually a sign that something is wrong. It can also cause backups and overflows. The most common causes of a slow flushing toilet are sediment build up, tank malfunctions, or partial clogs. You should periodically check for these problems.
Before embarking on a plumbing project, make sure that you’re aware of where the shutoff valve for water in your home is, as well as the valves for shutting off individual structures like sinks, toilets, etc. This way, if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to stop the water flow.
Work with plumbers that offer flat rates. When a plumber is charging by the hour, they do not have an incentive to get the job done quickly. It is human nature to go just a little bit slower if it’ll mean extra money in our pockets. If you cannot find someone who charges per project make sure that you are vigilant in watching the clock and their work.
If the pipes have burst in an upstairs area, use a tool to perforate the ceiling underneath in several places and places pots and pans under to catch the water. If this is not done, the weight of the accumulating water could cause a collapse of the entire ceiling.
Teach your children how to notice plumbing problems. Many parents handle plumbing issues without sharing that information with their children, who grow up not knowing anything about plumbing. Any time you make a small repair or notice a problem, call your kids in and explain what the problem is and what you are going to do. Educate them so they can make good decisions in the future.
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.
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.
Never flush menstrual products, such as pads or tampons, even if the box says it’s okay. These products can cause major clogs in your plumbing that cannot be removed with a simple plunger. Ensure that all women in your household understand the importance of placing these items in an appropriate receptacle.
You should never dump grease, fat, or cooking oil down the drain. These fats and oils could solidify in cold pipes and clog your sink. Instead you should put the fats and oils in a dish and wait for it to solidify, then throw it away for garbage men to pick it up.
Always try plunging any clogged toilet or drain before snaking. Snaking can often push problems further down the pipe and make matters worse. A plunger uses nothing but your strength and water pressure to help clear clogs. For more effective plunging, boil some water and pour into the affected drain or toilet to help loosen things up before plunging.
If you ever put food down the garbage disposer after a meal, make sure that you run cold water for about 15 seconds to help drain the excess debris. This will help in flushing out the excess particles down your drain, which otherwise, can build up and cause a clog, eventually.
Taking the time to prepare your plumbing before you leave on vacation may save you quite the mess when you get home. The easiest way to avoid these disasters is by shutting off the main valve to your house. This will keep any more water from entering the lines in case there is a rupture somewhere.
As you read, plumbing can be an incredibly important aspect to your current and future home improvement and so is understanding all the different techniques and equipment. This is so it makes it easier for you to understand what you need for your plumbing jobs. Following the tips in this article is a very good starting place.