Are you dealing with a dripping faucet, low water pressure, or clogged pipe? You’re probably tempted to call a professional plumber, and with good reason. Homeowners usually don’t have the necessary skills for a DIY plumbing job. plumbing tips
They can even make matters worse in the end, triggering thousands of dollars in property and personal damage. But don’t put your plumber on speed dial just yet! Here are 10 basic plumbing secrets every homeowner should know. Maybe one of these could save you a costly visit from your local expert. plumbing tips
Know the Location of Shut-Off Valves1/11
Before moving into a new home, note the location of the main shut-off valve and drain (in some cases, the shut-off will be located outside the house). You should also get acquainted with sewer line access points, in case you need to conduct periodic clean outs. Note that apartments and condos may not have their own dedicated shut-off valves. plumbing tips
Don’t Puncture Pipes2/11
Are you planning to drill holes or pound nails into your walls, floors, or ceiling? First determine if there are any supply or drainage pipes behind your work area, since you don’t want to accidentally puncture them. You may be able to locate pipes behind walls with an inexpensive stud finder. Alternatively, you could invest in an endoscopic camera, which can be snaked into the walls.
Find Out What’s Flushable3/11
Don’t Put Garbage Down the Drain4/11
Never dump coffee grounds, food debris, bacon grease, vegetable peelings, or starchy foods like rice or potatoes down the kitchen drain; they will almost certainly clog your pipes. It’s also smart to read the manufacturer’s manual for your garbage disposal to know what, exactly, the unit can handle.
Take the Plunge5/11
Pull Out the Vacuum6/11
Don’t Ignore Leaks7/11
That steady drip, drip, drip of a fixture symbolizes money going down the drain. In fact, a leaky faucet typically wastes up to eight gallons of water per day, while a running toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. Fix small leakspromptly before they become big—and costly—problems.
Never Over-Tighten Fittings8/11
Make Friends with Plumber’s Tape9/11
Plumber’s tape (also called Teflon tape) is used to seal pipe threads to prevent leaks around joints and fittings. You should typically wrap plumber’s tape three times around the pipe threads before sealing. Also note that white tape is designed for common household plumbing projects, while yellow is for gas line connections.
Always Check for Leaks10/11
After every plumbing project, check for leaks by running water through the system, then opening and closing all valves and drains. Even professional plumbers may miss a small leak and need to reseal a connection.
With the right knowledge, you can be your own first line of defense for basic plumbing issues.