Professional plumbing is often a very expensive service, and usually the work that is done is something that any homeowner could solve fairly easily with the proper knowledge and tools. If you’d like to start learning to solve your own plumbing problems, read on to see what you can do.
To avoid clogs, pay attention to what you flush. Sanitary napkins, thick toilet paper and baby wipes should never be flushed. These items can expand and cause a clog, or get caught on a pipe. Instead, dispose of them in a sanitary way that does not involve flushing them down the toilet.
Before you start a plumbing project you should tighten all of the pipes that are easily accessible. Especially if your pipes are making a range of loud banging sounds, as this is a clear sign that there are loose pipes along the line. It is also a good idea in case there is a clog so the excess pressure released does not break a loose pipe.
Roots from a tree in your back yard can be a real headache when it comes to plumbing. Make sure if you have a big tree or bush or some kind of plant with a big root system, that you ask your plumbing company about root killing agents. You can flush these down your toilet and kill any roots that may be blocking your pipes and save yourself a lot of money by stopping a back up before it happens.
If you have issues with the plumbing making a hammering sound when you turn it off, check your water pressure. Any time your water pressure is above 80 PSI, you will hear extra water noise. This can be easily solved by the installation of a pressure-reducing valve, which can be done by most homeowners.
Group all of your plumbing repairs before scheduling a plumber to come out. Check all of your fixtures and faucets. If anything is dripping, running or clogged, make a list for the plumber. That way, when the plumber comes, they can do all of the jobs in one visit. This will cut down on charges.
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.
During the winter, preventing frozen pipes when you live in a small dwelling can be something good to know. Frozen pipes will not only stop your flow of water but can crack and damage pipes. By running a little water out of every faucet during the coldest parts of the day, you can avoid this.
At least once a year remove the faucet aerator and clean the screens. This helps it properly function. The function of a faucet aerator is to allow for an even flow of water and to conserve water. Be sure to clean out the aerator and you’ll notice a these things working.
Use baking soda and one cup of vinegar per month to keep the bathtub drain clear and running well. Afterward, place a washcloth or towel over the top of the drain, to keep the chemical reactions contained. After waiting a few minutes, flush the drain with boiling water. This simple solution can break up clogs caused by everything from hair to soap scum.
Some people have problems with their plumbing system in that the pipes sweat and drip condensation. You do not have to hire a plumber to take care of this nuisance. You can purchase self-adhesive drip tape from your local hardware store. This drip tape will insulate your “sweating” pipes which are dripping with moisture built up from condensation. To make sure the tape sticks firmly, dry the pipe thoroughly before applying the tape.
When replacing your shower head, spend the money on a high-quality model. People usually opt for a cheap shower head instead of a quality product. While it may be cheap, chances are you will have to replace it sooner, as it’s more likely to break sooner.
Frozen pipes can lead to many problems, most of them expensive to fix. So you want to avoid that at all costs. To avoid frozen pipes, make sure the temperature in your home never drops below 55 degrees. Look for any air leaks around your pipes and make sure they’re sealed up.
To prevent pipe banging when you turn on the water, think about rubber blankets or straps. Instead of assuming the pipes need replaced, consider anchoring them or buffering them. If your pipes are plastic, leave them some room for expansion and contraction. If pipes do not leak but just make noise, eliminate the noise.
Check for leaks behind the wall tile in your bathroom, especially any tile surrounding your bathtub, by gently pressing each tile and feeling for some give. If you find any mushy or soft spots, you will need to find the source of the leak and repair it to prevent further damage.
Homeowners in colder climates where snow and freezing is the norm should insulate all basement plumbing pipes with foam to help keep hot water hot and prevent pipes from sweating in the warmer weather. Properly insulated pipes save money on hot water heating costs and greatly reduce the chance of frozen pipes in the winter.
If you have hard water, check intake hoses for washing machines and ice makers often to prevent them from splitting open from buildup. Lime scale remover can be used to remove buildup, but replacing hoses is an economical method as well to take care of the issue. Change out hoses when you change the batteries in your smoke alarms to stop unexpected floods.
As you can see, plumbing isn’t as difficult as you may have believed. Many plumbing problems can be solved easily with things on hand, or with a few inexpensive parts. Next time you have a problem with your plumbing, try using the tips in this article to solve it yourself!