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.
When choosing a plumber make sure he is insured and licensed. This is very important. If there is a plumbing emergency, you want to make sure the plumber has met the training requirements of the state. If he is insured, this covers any accidental damage done while fixing your plumbing.
You always want to solder correctly, the biggest mistake most people make when soldering is failing to get the interior of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe clean and shiny. Polish these surfaces with a fine emery clot until bright. When soldering, never heat the pipe, but instead heat the fitting. Doing so allows the solder to be drawn into the fitting by capillary action.
Avoid frozen pipes this winter! Keep a small trickle of water dripping from faucets, and wrap your uninsulated pipes with foam or newspaper. If possible, keep the doors open between unheated and heated rooms. In an unheated area such as a garage or laundry room, keep a small heater next to the pipes. Remember to do this before the first cold snap hits.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
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.
When concerned with plumbing, you need to know what can cause noisy pipes. This is important because it can mean the difference between an annoying noise and flooding in your house. Do your research to distinguish between the different noises and hire a professional if any serious risk is posed.
Certain things shouldn’t go into your plumbing system. By knowing what you can and cannot flush or throw into the garbage disposal and sink, you can save yourself from a costly repair or disaster. A plumber can usually get your plumbing back into working condition, but can be avoided if you know how to dispose of items correctly.
During the winter, preventing frozen pipes when you live in a small dwelling can be something good to know. Frozen pipes will not only stop your flow of water but can crack and damage pipes. By running a little water out of every faucet during the coldest parts of the day, you can avoid this.
Do not overload your garbage disposal. If you need to dispose of large items, cut them up into smaller pieces. Also, do not put too much in at a time, put one or two items in and wait a few seconds to dispose of the rest. Overloading your disposal can cause the engine to overheat.
Find out the plumbing codes in your local area before starting any project. Plumbing codes can vary wildly from area to area and you don’t want to run afoul of the codes. Visit your local building department to find out information or hire a plumber for a day to help you go over your plans and provide advice.
Before the cold season hits, check out the condition of your gutters on the roof of your house. Remove all debris, leaves and branches so that you can have a smooth flow of water and easy drainage. Caretaking in advance will help to prevent serious issues with plumbing down the road.
Do not be surprised if a plumber charges you more than you expected. Many customers think that fixing a toilet or other drainage problem should be easy, therefore the price should be low. You must remember that not only does a plumber have to charge for labor, but they have to charge for parts that you need.
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 are the kind of person who travels a great deal, then remember that different countries may have very different kinds of plumbing systems available. If you are not sure of how things work in the region where you experience problems, then you should either do research or avoid fixing the problem yourself.
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.
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