You need to have some knowledge of what to look for and expect from doing your own plumbing. You need to know what resources are available to you and who can provide you answers as to what you need for your future plumbing jobs. The tips below can help you with how to start.
Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem that no-one wants, so plan now to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the exterior water shut-off valve located inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water that has collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside so they don’t crack from the cold weather.
Got a leaky pipe? In many cases you can repair this yourself without the expense of a plumber. If a joint is leaking, tighten it with a pipe wrench. If the leak is coming from a damaged section of pipe, you can try repairing with a store-bought patching kit. One method involves applying waterproof tape to the section of pipe where there is leakage. Before applying the tape, make sure the pipe is thoroughly dry. Make sure that the tape covers two to three inches on either side of the breakage in the pipe.
Keep the drain in your bathtub working well by pouring one cup baking soda into the drain quickly followed by about a cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug or rag as you wait for the chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda to happen in your pipes. Allow some time to pass, then follow up by pouring down boiling hot water. This method should clear your pipes of accumulated hair and soap scum.
Your water heater works more during the fall and winter so make sure that you eliminate all sediment buildup around this piece of equipment. Flushing this device can lead to increased longevity so that you do not face plumbing problems during the winter. This precaution will save time, money and effort.
Believe it or not, it is not a very good idea to use a plunger if your toilet is clogged. Plungers just push whatever is stuck deeper into the drain. Instead, it is a better idea to use a closet auger. It will do a better job and is affordable.
When chilly weather approaches, it is time to disconnect your water hoses from your outside faucets. If you forget to do this, water in the hoses can freeze and expand. This can cause the faucets and the connecting pipes inside your house to freeze and break. By simply rolling up your garden hoses and storing them for the winter, you can help prevent costly plumbing repairs.
Every now and then, you should pour a large bucket of water down your basement floor drain. This will help to keep the trap seal full and prevent certain gases from coming up into your home. Also, be sure that you have your floor drain checked by a professional every few years.
The most important plumbing tip you need to know is — how to turn off your home’s main water supply. Once the water is shut off, you can investigate problems and figure out how to resolve them. Walk the family through the house and show them where all the water shut-off valves are, and how to use them.
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.
If water is flooding your home, immediately switch off the main electrical power. If water comes into contact with any electrical components, it can become a fatal situation. Once the power is off, then deal with the flood water. Put your own and your family’s personal safety first, and show each member of the family how to shut off the power.
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 you need to shut off your plumbing system, turning off the main valve is not enough. A leaking sink will still be supplied by the water that remains in the pipes. Make sure you check all the pipes for signs of wetness or leaks. You should do this regularly.
When leaving on vacation or leaving your vacation home, be sure to turn off the main water before you leave. If something happens while you are gone you can cause some serious damage from a flooded basement or a broken pipe in the wall that leaks for weeks until you return.
As you have seen in the above tips, there is a lot of knowledge you can acquire before starting to do your own plumbing and it’s this knowledge that can help you with your future plumbing jobs. Do everything you must to find out what you need to get started.