Plumbing can imply a lot of different connotations depending upon whom you ask or talk to about it. We all know that it’s essential to your home, but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect it or just leave it to a pro. Take some time to learn how to do it yourself using the tips below.
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.
Making sure you know all of your problems so you can have them fixed by one plumber visit is very beneficial. Having them all fixed in one visit takes a lot of money off of your bill because you don’t have to pay for the visit multiple times so make sure you make a list first.
Do not put your hand in the garbage disposal to remove a clog. This can be potentially harmful. Always use tongs to get out whatever is stuck in the disposal. Using tongs is much safer, and you will make sure your hand does not get cut on the disposer’s sharp blades.
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.
Is your toilet leaking? Find out by putting some food color in the tank and then check the bowl later. If there is colored water in the bowl, the toilet has an internal leak. To fix an internal leak you can simply replace the tank’s ball or flapper.
Avoid pouring grease or oil down your kitchen sink drain. Grease and oil can build up in your pipes and cause a backup. Instead, wait for the grease or oil to cool and solidify and either throw it away or see if there’s a place to recycle it near your home.
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.
Ask before the plumber comes out if they charge for the consultation. In order to quote a project, the plumber has to come out to inspect your particular issue. It is standard to charge for the consultation appointment but the prices can vary wildly. Ask upfront so that you aren’t surprised by the total.
To make sure there is no accident or sudden rush of water when you tackle a plumbing project, make sure you are ready for a cleanup. If you go into the work with a huge stack of towels and blankets ready to absorb water, the prospect of needing to actually do it will keep you alert enough to avoid triggering the accident in the first place.
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.
Never try to undertake a project that you are unsure of. Additionally, never call on a friend to help you with something, if they are not a professoinal. There have been hundreds of good friendships ruined by a guy claiming to know exactly what he is doing, when the truth is he is clueless.
To prevent the most common kitchen sink clogs, avoid putting any sort of solid foods down your drain. Many foods, such as eggs and vegetable and fruit waste actually harden with exposure to cold water and over time can form clogs that are next to impossible to remove without professional help.
Use a foaming root killer, twice yearly, to remove tree roots that can bring your drains to a standstill. Foaming products fill the entire pipe with chemicals, killing roots that grow from the top of the pipe as well as the part that water flows through. They are more effective than regular root killers for this reason.
Don’t just use any drain cleaner. It is possible that your pipes may be damaged with the wrong type of cleaner. Make sure you select a brand that is advertised as gentle on the pipes. Not all chemical cleaners are good for your pipes–or for you. Some chemicals are toxic to humans. In addition, if a cleaner attacks bacteria indiscriminately, it may destroy helpful bacteria that keep the plumbing system running smoothly.
It’s true that plumbing should be of utmost importance when it comes to home improvement. That said, you should not just leave it until there is a problem and then call a pro. You can learn to take care of it yourself and hopefully these tips gave you advice on how to do that.