Maintaining and repairing your own plumbing is an essential part of home improvement, but understanding it and buying the right equipment can be tricky. There are lots of things to consider for your particular plumbing job. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get started with your own plumbing jobs.
If you have noisy pipes, you can cushion them with a rubber blanket or add additional anchor straps. Banging pipes are usually caused by loose pipes, water hammering to a stop as you turn it off, or hot water pipes shifting in their position. All of these problems can be solved by cushioning and anchoring the pipes.
If your toilet is slow to flush, add some white vinegar to the overflow tube. White vinegar helps the water from your tank to flow quickly, which will make the toilet flush faster. It is recommended that you use about a quart of the vinegar and let it stay there for at least an hour before flushing.
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.
Sometimes you have to make the choice between replacing or repairing. If you have an old appliance, that uses a lot of water or electricity, it may be best to replace. Sure, it will cost more initially, but it will save you money in the long run. The other thing is, you can’t be sure how well a repair will work out, whereas with a new appliance you’ll at least get a guarantee.
Find out the plumbing codes in your local area before starting any project. Plumbing codes can vary wildly from area to area and you don’t want to run afoul of the codes. Visit your local building department to find out information or hire a plumber for a day to help you go over your plans and provide advice.
DIY plumbing jobs will require that you understand how to solder copper for the lines for the water supply. You can practice this skill so that you will be able to run your lines without worrying about it leaking. Search online for video tutorials that can help you get a handle on how to go about soldering.
Is your toilet leaking? Find out by putting some food color in the tank and then check the bowl later. If there is colored water in the bowl, the toilet has an internal leak. To fix an internal leak you can simply replace the tank’s ball or flapper.
Do not forget to check the temperature of the water heater in your house, especially if you are planning to leave for an extended period of time. You should keep the temperature no higher than 120 degrees, which will help to reduce energy use and prevent your system from burning out.
Do not ignore a slow flushing toilet. This is usually a sign that something is wrong. It can also cause backups and overflows. The most common causes of a slow flushing toilet are sediment build up, tank malfunctions, or partial clogs. You should periodically check for these problems.
If you live in an area that sees routine freezing temperatures, make sure you do something to keep your pipes from becoming frozen as well. There are a wide variety of ways you can keep your pipes from freezing, which will help you avoid damage to your home and costly repairs.
Avoid pouring grease or oil down your kitchen sink drain. Grease and oil can build up in your pipes and cause a backup. Instead, wait for the grease or oil to cool and solidify and either throw it away or see if there’s a place to recycle it near your home.
Many people wonder where the fruit flies are coming from. Each plumbing fixture has a self-sealed reserve that holds about two cups of water. If those pipes are broken or do not seal off, then odors and residue can cause fruit flies. It is recommended before anything to clean your pipes using bleach. If the flies come back, contact a professional.
To avoid freezing pipes in the winter, make sure to insulate any exposed pipes in you basement before winter comes. Pay extra attention to pipes near the outside walls. If you have had a problem with any particular pipe freezing in the past, apply some heat tape to insulate those pipes.
Try to limit the amount of hair that goes down your drains. Hair can become tangled up in the pipe and end up blocking up the them, preventing water from flowing smoothly. Buy a cheap screened drain cover to put over your drain to stop any hair from going down and clean it off regularly.
To be able to get a good plumber you can be comfortable with, remember which of your friends are actual home owners and not renting. At some point, every home owner has had to call in a plumber. They can give you a good personal reference they had a positive experience with.
In any DIY plumbing project, make sure that you always test the drains and the supply lines before you close up the walls. It is a lot easier to find and solve problems if you look for them while you are still in the process of actively doing the job.
If your washing machine’s drain stack overflows, snake it with a regular pipe snake. Your washing machine can back up if small things get caught in the pipe, like lint.
As you read, plumbing can be an incredibly important aspect to your current and future home improvement and so is understanding all the different techniques and equipment. This is so it makes it easier for you to understand what you need for your plumbing jobs. Following the tips in this article is a very good starting place.