If you are a first time homeowner or maybe someone who has just moved out of Mom and Dad’s humble abode, you may not know a lick about plumbing, but there are certain things that you should know. This article will discuss some of them, and you will be more knowledgeable after reading the tips below.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a Emergency Plumber Newbury heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
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.
Find a better way to discard of cooking oil instead of pouring it down the drain where it can easily clog your pipes. Keep a coffee can or other metal container handy to pour grease into after cooking. Place the can in the freezer to harden the grease and when it’s full, discard it with the trash.
Use strainers in all drains to catch hair and other objects. This will prevent all the material from going down the drain and causing a clog, which can cause a bigger problem down the line. Clean out the strainers daily so that you don’t start getting backup of water in your sink or tub.
You can check your toilet for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring, Kool Aid or some coffee grounds to the water in the toilet’s tank (not the water in the bowl). Check the water in the bowl after a half hour or so. If any of the coloring agent is visible in the water in the bowl, the tank is leaking, and you will have to have it repaired.
If water is not coming to the dishwasher, you most likely have a blockage somewhere. You will need to turn off the water supply and remove the hose that leads to the dishwasher. After securing the hose, turn the water back on. See if it feeds into a bowl. If not, then you must find the block where it is at which may include removing more piping.
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 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.
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you want to consider getting a spring-loaded timer which can be attached directly to your hose. This prevents your lawn from getting too much water in case you forget to turn your system off. Getting too much water could kill your grass and plants.
If you are the kind of person who travels a great deal, then remember that different countries may have very different kinds of plumbing systems available. If you are not sure of how things work in the region where you experience problems, then you should either do research or avoid fixing the problem yourself.
When you are working with plumbing, you also need to have some basic skills in other areas. This is especially true of electrical problems, as the two systems often overlap. This doesn’t mean that you need to solve the problems, but that you understand what the problems could be.
Bring out your inner conservationist by upgrading your hot water heater to a tank-less hot water heater. Unlike conventional water heaters, they store no water, and instead heat the water only as needed. These water heaters will save you money, as they are not wasting energy to heat water that you are not using.
To clear mineral deposits from your showerhead, try a soak in white vinegar. Simply add a cup or two of vinegar to a plastic bag and tape it around the showerhead, ensuring that it is submerged. Leave the bag on for an hour, and the vinegar will dissolve the mineral build-up, allowing water to gush through like it was when it was new.
Now that you have read these plumbing tips, you should feel a little more comfortable about looking after that scary hardware that lurks in some rooms of your home. Follow the advice above and you are sure to do the right things when tinkering around with any of the pipes.