As a homeowner, you don’t necessarily need a trained expert to identify the issues with your piping system. There are so many plumbing hacks for savvy homeowners that can be done by them, to improve their plumbing and keep from constantly calling a plumber. Nobody is telling you to become a plumbing expert but these plumbing tips are necessary knowledge for a homeowner. You can always leave the major repairs for the trained experts but don’t be totally ignorant of the subject.
Here are a few “tricks of the trade” that every homeowner should know about plumbing.
Tip 1: Know where your water shutoff valve is
First and foremost, every house owner should know where their water shutoff valve is located in case of a plumbing emergency. Most times you can find it on the wall outside or in the basement. The valve controls the flow of water into the house and can be used to prevent the consequences of a pipe burst like flooding and damage of important things in the house. When you are able to locate where your water shutoff valve is, do not forget to shut it off in the face of a plumbing emergency.
Tip 2: Protect your pipe
When you protect your pipe, you prevent water leaks. Water leaks cause more harm than good it not only destroys some of your properties it can also cause a hike in your water bill. Begin by knowing what exactly to search for when you have a pipe leak. Most times pipes leak from the joints but the leak is not always obvious, lookout for the following:
• Water drops on the ceiling
• Damp or wet spots on the ground
• Dampness around the ground in the house
• Mold on the walls, floors, or carpet
• A sudden increase in the water bills
Plumbing tips to prevent this are:
- Insulate your pipes – you can use foam tubes to do this, it keeps your pipe warm during the winter.
- Detach hoses during cold seasons – detach the hoses from outdoor faucets because if it remains connected, the water can freeze up and destroy the pipes and faucets. Leaving the hose connected in the winter is a common plumbing mistake.
- Do not forget to always close interior valves that control outdoor faucets and drain the pipe.
- Switch on the outdoor faucets – outdoor faucets keep your water flowing and prevent freezing in the winter.
Tip 3: Stay informed on the possible causes of clogging
The best way to avoid clogging is to ensure that everyone knows what can and what can’t go into the toilet and sink.
Here is a shortlist:
• Paper towels
• Tissue papers
• Feminine hygiene products
• Cooking grease
• Leftover food
But if this preventive measure doesn’t work and you have a clogged drain here are some DIY plumbing hacks.
Unclogging a clogged sink
Requirements: baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.
- Pour very hot water down the drain
- Sprinkle in it half cup of baking soda
- Mix a cup of vinegar with hot water
- Pour the mixture down the sink this will cause a reaction that loosens and unclogs the sink
- Wait for about 10 mins and pour room temperature water into the sink.
Unclogging the toilet
You can always use a plunger to unclog the toilet when you run into such problems.
Tip 4: Fixing a leaky pipe or a dripping faucet
If you are experiencing pipe leakage depending on the quantity of damage and the type of plumbing you can fix the leak with a pipe clamp or with epoxy putty (a hardening substance used by plumbers).
- Find the place of leakage
- Turn off the main water shutoff valve
- If you are using a clamp place it around the pipe and then tighten the screw
- Or if you are making use of putty, apply it around the pipe and let it set
On the other hand, fixing a dripping faucet is an easy fix and there might be no need to call a plumber. Some house owners already have the tools to repair their homes. The following steps can help you in this process:
• Shut off the water
• Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the faucet handles
• Inspect the faucet
• Clean the valves to remove mineral buildup using white vinegar and scouring pad
• Remove the stopper on the drain and pour in clean water to rinse away dirt and debris.
• Put the faucet back together
• Always know when to replace your faucet.
Tip 5: Do not always rely on DIY
In respective of the fact that so many plumbing issues can be settled using plumbing hacks, it is also important to note that some problems require professional attention so as to prevent plumbing mistakes. For example, if you have a flooding situation or a problem with your water heater or sump pump it is best to hire an expert.
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