An essential component of managing a home is to have excellent working plumbing. There may be times, though, when your plumbing system needs work and you can’t afford to call a professional, or you don’t have time to sit at home and wait for one. Some basic tips here will allow you to take care of your own home’s plumbing needs.
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.
Use the sounds you hear from your pipes to help you to determine what they problem is. Certain sounds mean the water pressure is too high. Other sounds can signify loose pipes or slight clogs from calcium or iron build up. Listening to your pipes can save you a lot of money hunting down the problem.
Do not put cooking oils, fat, or grease, down your drain. These fats cause clogs by solidifying in pipes. To properly dispose of fats, put them in a bowl with a lid that you can dispose of. Once it gets hard, throw it in the trash or compost bin.
Install screen traps or drain covers on all of your sinks and tub drains. Most home plumbing calls are about clogged pipes. These can be caused by debris, especially hair, washing down the drains. Putting in a trap means that you can clean this debris off before it ends up in the pipes.
Taking preemptive action to fix a strange smelling kitchen sink can be a good way to keep your kitchen smelling great. Make sure not to throw hair or grease into your sink. Use baking soda if you have a strange smell coming from your drain. Make sure you use your garbage disposal if you have one to grind up any food and use water while doing this to prevent damage to the blades of the garbage disposal.
Have you tried patching your pipe with the store-bought patching kits only to have that section of your plumbing continue leaking? Replacing the damaged pipe is a more permanent solution than patching. First, you must shut off the main water valve, and drain the water from the damaged section. Cut out the damaged section of the copper pipe, leaving about an inch of extra pipe on both sides of the damaged area. Remove corrosion from inside the pipes with a wire brush. Apply flux to the replacement pipe and the remaining pipe. Slide the piece of replacement pipe into place with couplings. Apply solder all around the joint, and use a propane torch to solder the replacement section into place.
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.
Clean the lint trap in your dryer. This could prevent you from a tons of trouble, and it can also prevent fires. Always check your lint trap for damage, such as holes or tears. This could allow lint to enter your pipes, leading to clogs or other plumbing complications.
Do not forget to check the temperature of the water heater in your house, especially if you are planning to leave for an extended period of time. You should keep the temperature no higher than 120 degrees, which will help to reduce energy use and prevent your system from burning out.
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.
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 have an underground leak in your pipes, it is possible to detect the leak before digging. Today’s leak detection equipment is very sophisticated and modern, allowing technicians to detect and pinpoint exactly where leaks are before they go about trying to fix them with professional grade equipment for you.
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.
Now you know that there are plenty of things you can do to increase your plumbing skills. This knowledge is extremely valuable not only for fixing up your own home, but also for not having to rely on other people.