Good plumbing maintenance is relatively easy, but failing to keep up with it can mean costly repairs. Here are some good ways you can take care of your plumbing, either yourself or with the help of a licensed professional. Take care of your house now and it will beneift you in the future.
When choosing a plumber make sure he is insured and licensed. This is very important. If there is a plumbing emergency, you want to make sure the plumber has met the training requirements of the state. If he is insured, this covers any accidental damage done while fixing your plumbing.
Don’t pay a plumber until the job is completed. A plumber may require some money upfront, but it’s wise to wait until the job is completely done before giving him the entire payment. Many things can happen between the stop and end of a job, so to be safe wait until you are satisfied with the completed work before paying.
Unclog drains with ease. Try using a plunger and drain cleaner, as your clog may simply be a build-up of hair and debris. If this doesn’t work you may have to clear the drain with a snake. Feed the snake into the drain line as far as it will go. Turn the crank gently, which will help to loosen the clog. Remove the snake, and run water down the drain to see if the clog has been removed. You may have to use the snake a couple of times, before the clog is cleared so don’t give up!
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.
Periodically check your pipes for leaks and cracks. These can be forgotten, since pipes are usually hidden away, but checking for leaks and cracks can help you identify a small problem before a big problem occurs. You may have to enlist the help of a family member to turn on and off the water stream as you are checking.
Never reach into a garbage disposal that you think isn’t working. Garbage disposals always pose a possible threat, even when powered off or non-working all together. Research your disposal online to locate a detailed diagram or troubleshooting guide for your model.
Frequently inspect the floors around toilets for softness; this can tell you whether or not the floors are damaged. Do this by straddling the commode and rocking from side to side. You are looking for any feelings of weakness or softening of the floor itself. You could save money if you notice these problems early.
Do not overload your garbage disposal. If you need to dispose of large items, cut them up into smaller pieces. Also, do not put too much in at a time, put one or two items in and wait a few seconds to dispose of the rest. Overloading your disposal can cause the engine to overheat.
Work with plumbers that offer flat rates. When a plumber is charging by the hour, they do not have an incentive to get the job done quickly. It is human nature to go just a little bit slower if it’ll mean extra money in our pockets. If you cannot find someone who charges per project make sure that you are vigilant in watching the clock and their work.
If you need to shut off your plumbing system, turning off the main valve is not enough. A leaking sink will still be supplied by the water that remains in the pipes. Make sure you check all the pipes for signs of wetness or leaks. You should do this regularly.
When leaving on vacation or leaving your vacation home, be sure to turn off the main water before you leave. If something happens while you are gone you can cause some serious damage from a flooded basement or a broken pipe in the wall that leaks for weeks until you return.
To compare the quality of your pipes or sewers over time, create a video for documentation purposes. Several months later, make the same video so that you can see if there are any new cracks or holes that require fixing. This can serve as a great way to analyze your infrastructure.
A plumbing snake is an essential tool in any homeowner’s tool box. Snakes can be used to unclog kitchen and bathrooms drains and toilets when clogged with hardened debris. They are useful as well for grabbing hold of items dropped down sink drains. Snakes come in a variety of sizes for home use and heavier-duty models can often be rented for bigger jobs.
It is a general rule of thumb that you should replace a water faucet every seven years, even if you do not see anything wrong with it. Some faucet problems are not visible to the naked eye, which is why it is so important for them to replaced every so often.
Run dishwashers and washing machines at night, or during times when people are not using that much water. This will keep water pressure strong for showers and other things, while making sure that dishwashing and laundry still takes place in a timely manner. It also preserves energy costs and use.
To avoid plumbing disasters in your kitchen, never place hard-to-grind, stringy, fibrous waste, such as poultry skins, banana peels, carrots, celery, or cantaloupe pulp, into the garbage disposer. The disposer can’t sufficiently grind these food products and they will clog your sink drain. You should also run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposer to flush the waste down the main drain.
As mentioned above, most periodic plumbing maintenance is simple and straightforward. Most repairs resulting from serious damage to your plumbing are not. Now that you know how to deal with the plubming issues in your home, you should be more prepared to prevent or mitigate the more serious problems that can result.