While it’s the source of life, water is the enemy of a homeowner facing plumbing problems. Except for a natural disaster, there are only a few problems which can cause more extensive damage than a plumbing issue. Luckily, there are many things people can do to stave off plumbing disasters and make sure the damage is minimal when unexpected events do happen.
If a pipe ever freezes, you need to make sure to shut off the water. This will keep the pipe from bursting and causing you major damage to your home. Make sure to shut the water off at the main valve, and then open the faucet that is closest to the frozen pipe so it can drain while it is thawing out.
Do not fall for the idea that liquid grease can be easily washed down the drain with hot water. While the grease may flow past the initial drain with the water, it does not take much of a temperature change as it moves through your pipes to alter from liquid to solid. The repeat habit of dumping grease in the sink is a sure-fire way to ensure a hard-to-reach clog forming in the future.
If you have bad water pressure in the shower, the showerhead might be clogged. Take a plastic baggie, fill it with regular vinegar, and tie it to the showerhead so that the showerhead is covered. Leave it overnight. In the morning, take the baggie off and use a small toothbrush to scrub away any mineral deposits.
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.
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.
Keep an eye on the hoses for your dishwasher and washing machine. These hoses can leak and bulge, which can be a problem. Check them for signs of wear and tear and replace any hoses more than 10 years old. You’ll find that these hoses age well, but you have got to make sure they are doing the job they should.
Letting your sink run is not really necessary when you put something down the in-sink disposal unit. It is a common misconception that running water simultaneously is a good idea, but that is not really the case. It could even cause food to stick to the blades of the disposal, creating damage.
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.
In any DIY plumbing project, make sure that you always test the drains and the supply lines before you close up the walls. It is a lot easier to find and solve problems if you look for them while you are still in the process of actively doing the job.
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.
When getting plumbing quotes for your home, make sure you receive them in writing. Your quote should have the material and labor costs so that both parties know what to expect from the job. If you do not get it in writing, when the job starts, you have nothing to fall back on.
For people who live in an apartment complex, plumbing is often forgotten about. The first time they move into a home they are unable to resolve any minor plumbing problems, because they have never dealt with this kind of thing. It is good to get a basic understanding when moving into your first house.
Keep an eye on your monthly water bill to catch plumbing problems. Has your water bill gone up recently, even though nothing’s changed? This could indicate a water leak or appliance problem somewhere inside or outside of your home. Check under sinks for rusted pipes, look for water puddles under outside faucets, and consider having a plumber come out to listen to your pipes to detect running water.
To check for toilet leaks, especially if it seems like your toilet is chronically running, use a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If water is leaking into the bowl, you will see color in about a half hour. Replacing tank parts can repair leaks and greatly save on water consumption.
You should never dump grease, fat, or cooking oil down the drain. These fats and oils could solidify in cold pipes and clog your sink. Instead you should put the fats and oils in a dish and wait for it to solidify, then throw it away for garbage men to pick it up.
As it is with anything, good preparation and education are keys to avoiding problems, and this holds true with plumbing as well. You will make better decisions if you know what can damage your plumbing system. It is best for one to do one’s research and try fixing one’s plumbing issues before things get worse.