Plumbing can imply a lot of different connotations depending upon whom you ask or talk to about it. We all know that it’s essential to your home, but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect it or just leave it to a pro. Take some time to learn how to do it yourself using the tips below.
Make sure you know where your home’s water shutoff is located. You never know when there might be an emergency involving a broken pipe or damaged connection that requires you to turn off the water right away. In addition, knowing where the shutoff is located is vital before you start any plumbing project, in case anything goes wrong.
To avoid having your outdoor faucets freeze up in the winter, detach all hoses before the first freeze. Also, close the shutoff valve that leads to the outdoor faucets, then turn on the outdoor faucets to let any remaining water in the lines drain. Once temperatures warm up in the spring, you can reverse the process.
Knowing all your different tools and how they are used will be a great help when you work on a plumbing job. Read every manual, and use the Internet and library to research the projects that you plan on doing. Plan thoroughly before attempting a repair. Mistakes can be very expensive to fix.
Avoid using hard cleaners on your toilets, such as drop-in cleaner tabs in the tank. When these tabs are almost completely dissolved, what’s left of the tab gets washed into the bowl. This can then end up clogging the toilet’s port holes, preventing the toilet from flushing properly. It can take months for this debris to finish dissolving in those holes.
An incorrectly installed hose from the kitchen sink to the dishwasher can cause unwanted water to drain into the dishwasher. The hose at the kitchen sink going to the dishwasher should follow a specific uphill, then downhill pattern. This prevents unwanted mixing of water between the sink and dishwasher.
In order to keep your garbage disposal in optimal working condition, run it on a regular basis. Just a simple 60 seconds per day under cold water can keep it running clean and smooth. If not run regularly, your disposal can be susceptible to corrosion that will eventually make it inoperable.
If you have problems with a slow drain, there are easier things you can do other than removing the pipes to clean it. There are certain tools made just for this purpose that you insert into the drain to loosen the clog so it washes away or grab it and remove it completely.
Before embarking on a plumbing project, make sure that you’re aware of where the shutoff valve for water in your home is, as well as the valves for shutting off individual structures like sinks, toilets, etc. This way, if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to stop the water flow.
One of the things that you can do to safeguard your home from any serious plumbing issues is to install a flood alarm. This is a device that will sound when it comes in contact with water, alerting you if there are any issues in a particular area in the house.
Periodically, make sure that the sump pump in your house is working to full capacity. Pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit, and your pump should drain that water out with minimal issues. Checking that your devices are working throughout the year can pay large dividends in the event of a crisis.
Teach kids how to shut off the toilet’s water supply. Kids are notorious for putting large wads of toilet paper and other things into the toilet, which inevitably leads to the toilet overflowing. Especially if your bathroom has carpet, show kids how to turn the water valve off if the toilet water keeps rising, to prevent the mess of an overflow.
Have a specific plumber in mind before you have an emergency. Most people don’t think about plumbers until they find themselves having a big problem that needs to be fixed right away. Instead, choose a plumber who you are comfortable with and whose experience you trust–way before you actually need his services.
When getting an estimate from a contractor on a job, make sure to ask how long the written estimate is good for. For big jobs you usually want to get estimates from a few different plumbers. Knowing how long your estimate is valid will help you know what your time limit is for making a decision on who to hire.
Plumbing is not only related to water, there are many other skills required to be a good plumber. One of the most common things that a plumber works on is fixing water lines.
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.
Carefully choose drain cleaners. A number of them have strong chemical ingredients that damage pipes. Be certain to choose a brand that claims to be gentle on pipes. Certain chemicals can kill bacteria that are important in your pipes, or even be poisonous.
To avoid hair from accumulating and clogging pipes. Use fine mesh strainers in every drain where hair is washed. Fine mesh strainers can catch the hair and still allow the shower, tub or sink to drain and are also useful in the kitchen to catch and stop small food debris from going down the drain.
It’s true that plumbing should be of utmost importance when it comes to home improvement. That said, you should not just leave it until there is a problem and then call a pro. You can learn to take care of it yourself and hopefully these tips gave you advice on how to do that.