Nobody really wants to think about having a huge plumbing issue in their home that requires a plumber. That's because it can get expensive and can ruin your floors and other items in your home, if it gets out of hand. Never fear because you can learn to do your own to prevent such problems by following these tips below.
As the weather begins to get cold, attend to all of your exposed pipes by adding insulation to them. Pay particular attention to pipes located in crawl spaces and the outside walls of your residence. Taking this step will help ensure that your pipes continue to function throughout the winter.
Frozen pipes are on of the worst plumbing problems. Prevent the pipes from freezing by insulating any sections of pipe that are close to the outside walls, and never allowing the temperature inside to be below freezing. Obviously, if it is below freezing outdoors, the pipes will be subjected to the same temperatures. In the very least, you could lose running water inside while waiting for the pipes to unfreeze. The worst case scenario is a busted pipe and a costly repair.
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.
Check how well your toilets are flushing. If the handle needs to be played with in order to keep the water from running constantly, or if it needs to be held down several times in order to flush, you may need to switch out some of the parts in your tank. This is not expensive, and it could help reduce your monthly water bill. It could also mean that you avoid the embarrassment of the flushing system breaking when you have visitors!
Routinely check your appliance connections and faucets around the house for any kind of obvious leaks or nearby signs of moisture. Not only do even the smallest leaks lead to a large waste of water and money, they also can lead to damage to your home or even the development of harmful molds.
Always keep your garbage disposal clean. You can do this in many ways. Pour some dish soap in and let the disposal run for a few minutes with some cold water. Be sure to run it regularly, if not, it can cause rust. To eliminate foul odors, grind lemon or other citrus peels. You can clean the walls of the disposal by grinding small fruit pits or egg shells.
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.
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.
You can remove unsightly mineral buildup from your shower head by soaking it in vinegar overnight. This loosens the deposits, and in the morning you only need to wipe off the residue with a rag. If your shower head is high up an not removable, place vinegar in a plastic bag, slip the bag over the shower head and hold in place with a twist tie.
If your toilet is constantly developing moisture on the outside, you may want to consider turning up the heat in your bathroom. The biggest cause of "sweaty" toilets is cool and moist air. Believe it or not, this moisture could actually cause damage to your toilet, so it is crucial that you fix the problem.
Avoid using harsh chemicals to clear clogged drains by purchasing a hand-held manual auger. A drain auger is a one-time purchase as opposed to purchasing a new bottle every time a drain is clogged. This is especially helpful for people who deal with clogged drains often, such as people with long hair or kids who like to drop things down the drain.
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.
In the winter months, if you live somewhere where temperatures fall below freezing, leave your faucets on a little bit to let a thin stream of water through. This will help prevent the pipes from freezing, which could be a major problem for you and all the pipes in your home.
Make sure you shut off your main system before leaving your house for a few weeks. The water will stay in the pipes, but this should prevent any further damages in case a leak starts while you are away. Check that your shut-off valve is working properly before you leave.
Plumbing problems cause actual nightmares for some folks, since they assume these situations can actually devastate their home. Avoiding this is as simple as being aware of one fact. Know where your main water valve is so you can quickly turn off your water supply and prevent water damage.
Do not pour grease and oil down your drains. Cooking grease will build up in your pipes and could cause back-ups. Keep grease and oil in a container in your fridge and throw it in the trash when it is full. Avoid clogging your pipes with any products containing oil or grease.
Plumbing can incredibly fickle and being left with a huge plumbing bill or water damage can be disappointing to say the least. Do yourself a favor and follow these tips to start fixing and installing your own plumbing.