Good plumbing maintenance is relatively easy, but failing to keep up with it can mean costly repairs. Here are some good ways you can take care of your plumbing, either yourself or with the help of a licensed professional. Take care of your house now and it will beneift you in the future.
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.
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.
Do not let your faucet leak. Did you know a leaky faucet can waste about 150 gallons of water every day? If you have a leak, never ignore it. It could be coming from the faucet or the pipes. Continually check pipes and faucets for extra moisture or small leaks.
While it may seem like a seemingly harmless thing to do, never run potato peels through your garbage disposal. The chemical make up of this seemingly harmless food allows the potato to turn into a thick, viscous substance that can wreak havoc on the disposal itself, with the potential to render it completely useless.
If water backs up from one sink to another, it is because the lines are connected. The part of the branch line for one device might be higher than another, but most likely there is also a blockage in the branch line connecting the two devices as well. This blockage must be cleaned.
Don’t start any do-it-yourself plumbing project without having a plan in place. You need to know beforehand exactly what you are getting yourself into. Know what kind of space you are working with and what lines are which. Getting a clear picture early on will make your plumbing project go a lot smoother!
If you have plumbing problems caused by grout in the water lines, it is best not to attempt to fix it yourself. You might be able to break it up a little bit and then get it a little further down the line. This works best if your pipes are plastic rather than metal. On the other hand, this situation usually ends in a call to a professional plumber.
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.
Protect you plumbing pipes! If you live in an area which has cold winters and are leaving your home for an extended amount of time, protect your plumbing while you are gone! Shut off the main water valve! Drain the system of water by opening the faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Also, make sure that you have left some heat on in the house! Set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
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.
One of the most inexpensive plumbing issues is a running toilet. Simply by understanding how a toilet actually functions is the first best tool in avoiding a running toilet. If you understand the function of the lever and floater, you will be able to fix any running toilet in no time.
Check the plumbing in your home. If your home has the flexible gray polybutylene water pipes, you need to have a plumber come out and assess their condition. These types of pipe are prone to failure and can lead to very costly repairs if they have a failure within your home.
When unclogging your drain, don’t use chemical drain openers. These chemicals can open your drain but they also may hurt you if you get them on your skin. And if you must use a chemical cleaner, make sure you always protect your skin by wearing gloves and a proper long-sleeved shirt.
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 mentioned above, most periodic plumbing maintenance is simple and straightforward. Most repairs resulting from serious damage to your plumbing are not. Now that you know how to deal with the plubming issues in your home, you should be more prepared to prevent or mitigate the more serious problems that can result.