Are you doing your own plumbing for the first time? You probably don't even know where to start. It's no secret that doing your own plumbing for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help to make maintaining your own plumbing a bit smoother.
Avoid plumbing problems! Do not stop up the toilet! Some common items that will stop up a toilet include: toys, hair, paper towels, birth control items, and feminine personal products. Do not flush these items down your toilet - unless the instructions say otherwise! These can stop up your toilet - to the point that nothing else will work - except calling a plumber!
To help you find a good plumber, you should get recommendations from people whom you trust. Asking a friend or a neighbor is usually more trustworthy than picking a random plumber out of the phone book. You need a competent plumber, otherwise you could be in for a much bigger problem down the road.
Use your garbage disposal with the cold water running so that you can preserve the blades of the disposal. Using hot water makes grease more liquid and can cause problems, including clogs. Make sure to clean blades by putting in a little dish detergent and run cold water at the same time.
Periodically check your pipes for leaks and cracks. These can be forgotten, since pipes are usually hidden away, but checking for leaks and cracks can help you identify a small problem before a big problem occurs. You may have to enlist the help of a family member to turn on and off the water stream as you are checking.
Avoid placing fat, grease, and other oils into your drain. Grease hardens when it cools and will clog your pipes. Your garbage disposal is particularly vulnerable to this issue, as the fat solids will slow the motion of the blades. This results in the disposal operating less efficiently. Don't put oils down the sink.
If you live in a home using well water and your bathtubs have stains pink and orange in color, this is likely a result of iron levels in the well water. You will need a water softener in order to take care of this problem, which you could purchase at a local store, or hire someone to go to your home and fix it for you.
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Check to make sure that overflow holes are not clogged up. Overflow holes are one of those things which you forget about until you need them. Periodically clear out the overflow holes when doing your other checks for things that may need repaired.
Make sure that you disconnect all hoses outside your house when the fall season hits. This is important to reduce the chance of freezing, which can cause damage to the connecting pipes. Disconnect all of your water hoses and store them safely to put your family in the best position for the fall.
Don't rely on drain cleaners too much. Drain cleaners use abrasive chemicals that are not only harmful to you but also to your pipes. Sometimes, finding a professional to fix a blocked drain is the best way to solve the problem.
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.
During the warm seasons, you will see that there will be many bird nests forming in and around your plumbing vent pipes. It is essential to clear these out, as they can have a devastating effect on the quality of your plumbing and the flow of water in your home.
Plumbing should only be done by professionals if there is a major problem or if you do not understand plumbing. Many of the big problems that plumbers deal with, actually have simple solutions. The average person, who does not understand the intricacies of plumbing, usually end up compounding the problem by causing other costly damage to the house during the failed repair. The plumber will need to be called in the end, anyway.
When looking for a plumber, you have quite a few options. Ask friends for recommendations of who they use. Check online for plumbers with good reviews and references. Use your yellow pages and look under "Plumbing Contractors" or "Plumbing, Drain and Sewer Cleaning". Make sure that you contact more than one plumber before making a choice.
It is important to clean your faucet's aerator from time to time. Not cleaning it can cause lime buildup, which in turn, could cause water leaks or low water pressure. To clean a aerator, you can unscrew it from the faucet, dip a brush into vinegar, and use the brush to clean it.
To compare the quality of your pipes or sewers over time, create a video for documentation purposes. Several months later, make the same video so that you can see if there are any new cracks or holes that require fixing. This can serve as a great way to analyze your infrastructure.
When you install a water heater, take a close look at the drainage and make sure the pipe is connected. This could be a recirculation pipe. This kind of pipe helps keep your water hot without wasting any of it.
It is a general rule of thumb that you should replace a water faucet every seven years, even if you do not see anything wrong with it. Some faucet problems are not visible to the naked eye, which is why it is so important for them to replaced every so often.
As you have seen, doing your plumbing is not as scary as it may appear at first. Just think of all of the benefits it has and all of the expenses it can take care of, along with all of the money it can save you in the long run.