As a homeowner, it’s important to know how to handle minor plumbing issues independently. While there are times when you need to call in a professional plumber, many common problems can be fixed with just a few simple tools and some basic knowledge. If you’re looking to empower your inner plumber, check out these top ten must-know tips for homeowners.
Always Know Where Your Main Water Shut Off Valve Is
The main water shut off valve is the key to controlling the flow of water in your house. It can be found near your home’s water meter and may be located inside or outside of your home. Knowing where this valve is will help you stop any potential flooding in case of a burst pipe or other emergency. In the event of a complex issue that is out of your hands, Dan’s Plumbing services can provide professional support and solutions.
Have Basic Tools On Hand
Sometimes all it takes to fix a minor issue is having the right tool for the job. Be sure that you have a basic set of plumbing tools on hand, including a plunger, pipe wrench, adjustable wrench, pliers, bucket and plumber’s tape. These tools are easily available at any hardware store and can come in handy during any plumbing crisis.
Clear Clogs with a Plunger
A plunger is an essential tool for dealing with clogged drains or toilets. To use it properly, make sure that there is enough water in the bowl or sink to cover the plunger’s head completely. Press down firmly and slowly pull up while maintaining pressure on the drain until the clog cleats.
Use Drain Cleaners Sparingly
While drain chemicals might seem like a quick fix for clearing out nasty clogs, they should not become your go-to solution every time you face such an issue. Chemical drain cleaners can be hazardous to your health and may cause damage to your pipes if used frequently. Instead, use a more eco-friendly alternative like a drain snake or a mixture of hot water and baking soda to break up clogs.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can lead to burst water lines and expensive repairs. During colder months, keep your home heated at least above 55°F (13°C) even when you are not present. Insulate any exposed outdoor faucets or pipes with foam pipe insulators.
Do Not Ignore Leaks
If you notice any signs of leaks around your home, such as damp spots on the walls or ceiling, puddles on the floor, or mold growth in your cabinets, it’s crucial that you address them right away. These small issues will only worsen if left untreated, potentially leading to costly repairs and structural damage.
Maintain Your Water Heater
To ensure the longest possible life for your water heater, perform routine maintenance checks. This includes flushing out sediment buildup once a year by draining all water from the tank and refilling it with clean water. Be sure to inspect the pressure relief valve for any signs of corrosion or leaking as well.
Know Which Plumbing Tasks Are DIY-friendly
Some plumbing tasks can be done quickly and easily by homeowners with basic skills, such as fixing a leaky faucet or unclogging a toilet. However, other jobs require expert knowledge and should be left to professionals – tampering with gas connections or attempting major pipe replacements without experience may lead to disastrous consequences.
Do Not Put Grease Down Your Drains
Pouring cooking grease down drains is one of the most common causes of plumbing issues. The grease solidifies in your pipes, causing clogs and blockages that are hard to clear out. To prevent this, dispose of cooking fats and grease in a separate container, such as a coffee can or milk carton, and throw it away once full.
When In Doubt, Call A Professional
If you’re unsure about how to fix a plumbing issue or if the problem seems too complicated for your skill level, don’t hesitate to call in a professional plumber. While it might be tempting to try and fix the problem yourself, you may inadvertently cause more damage, leading to expensive repairs down the line.
While homeowners can tackle smaller plumbing issues with confidence, knowing when to call in a professional is essential. By following these ten tips and honing your inner plumber skills, you’ll save time and money – as well as help keep your home’s plumbing system functioning efficiently. Remember to always prioritize safety when working on any project and do not be afraid to seek expert advice when needed.