When you think of plumbing, do you just see it as a hidden and mysterious network of pipes and pumps that makes your toilets and sinks work? If so, then you are very unlikely to have a go at mauntaining or repairing the system. Plumbing is not actually that complicated, and there are many things that you can do yourself to maintain and repair your system. Read on to find out how.
To prevent the pipes from freezing, it is advisable to seal off air vents, cracks and access doors. In order to keep the heat in and the cold out, you can try using insulation or caulk. In the event a leak occurs, make it a point to remind everyone where the master circuit breaker is so it can be shut off immediately.
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.
If you have noisy pipes, you can cushion them with a rubber blanket or add additional anchor straps. Banging pipes are usually caused by loose pipes, water hammering to a stop as you turn it off, or hot water pipes shifting in their position. All of these problems can be solved by cushioning and anchoring the pipes.
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 a hairdryer to thaw frozen pipes, after you shut off the water to the house. A hairdryer will gently heat the pipe and thaw the ice without causing significant damage to the pipe. Shutting off the water first means that if the pipe is broken, there will be no rush of water into the house.
Knowing which tools to use and how you should use them is an important skill when it comes to plumbing. Use as many resources as you need, such as online or the library, to find the right information to repair your plumbing issues. You need to conduct research before attempting a repair, because it could be expensive to correct an error.
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.
If you have a clogged drain, don’t use cleaning chemicals to try to clear the clog. These harsh chemicals can corrode your metal pipes leading to leaks and broken pipes over time. Instead, stick to a plunger or make use of a plumbing snake to clear them.
If you have drains in your house that have not been used for a long period of time, pour one gallon of water through them to keep them functional. Furthermore, this will have the added benefit of reducing any odors from entering your house from lack of use during the year.
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.
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.
Avoid flushing cotton balls, cotton swabs and any feminine sanitary products down the toilet. Even small panty liners can cause big problems because their adhesive backing can stick to pipes and cause stoppages. Keep a small, covered wastebasket next to the toilet to encourage guests to properly dispose of used sanitary articles.
It should not be necessary to call out a professional for every repair job. If you take your time and apply sensible advice, such as what you read here, you can successfully repair many of the common faults that develop. It may take a longer the first few times, but after a few successes you will pick up speed.