Plumbing Tips and Advice
If you have a frozen pipe, turn on the nearest faucet so that thawed ice has somewhere to go. This gives the pressure somewhere to go, which may prevent bigger damage for your home.
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 all outdoor faucets to let them thaw out. Once water is flowing freely again, turn the outside faucets off and store all hoses away safely for the winter.
If you want to keep your kitchen drains from clogging up, don't pour grease down them. As it cools and congeals it can trap other food or waste particles, which over time can slow the draining of water and even form a clog that will not be easy to remove.
To avoid wasting water and having a potentially high water bill, check your home for leaky faucets periodically. Fix any leaks that you find right away. You may be able to do the repair yourself, but if not, you may have to seek the assistance of a plumber to make the repairs.
If you have a clogged toilet and a plunger is not helping to clear the blockage, if the water level is low, pouring a bucking of boiling water from a height into the toilet bowl could resolve the problem. Do this as often as necessary until your clog is gone, and you can flush normally once again.
Use enzymes to clean clogged drains. Enzyme based cleaners work by using natural bacteria that turns the sludge clogged in your pipes into a liquid, allowing it to flow down the drain with ease. Enzyme cleaners are considered one of the best ways of maintaining your drains.
If you own property where the temperature gets below freezing for an extended amount of time each year, you should make sure that pipes located in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces and garages, are insulated. Pipes that are exposed to the outside elements or those that are prone to freezing, should be protected by heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables to prevent them from freezing.
If water backs up from one sink to another, it is because the lines are connected. The part of the branch line for one device might be higher than another, but most likely there is also a blockage in the branch line connecting the two devices as well. This blockage must be cleaned.
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.
Beware of black water in your toilet tank. Chances are, the color is caused from too much magnesium or iron in your water. Although this is usually harmless, it can be annoying for some people. If it is iron or magnesium in your water, the only way to fix it is by filtering the water.
If you see any water pooling near your hot water heater, turn the water off to the heater immediately. If you don't, a small leak can turn into a much larger leak, making it harder to shut off.
Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut off valve is and that they know how to work it. That way, if there is a water problem, anyone in your household can turn off the water, thereby reducing the chances that your home will incur major water damage.
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, make sure that you regularly test these valves for leaks. If leaks are detected, make sure to repair them before the first freeze which can occur in the fall. Freezing cold water can and will crack pipes, whether they are copper, steel, or plastic. Cracked pipes can lead to extensive water damage to your home, resulting in very costly repairs.
1. Turn off the main water supply before working on plumbing fixtures in your home. This will ensure that you aren't accidentally flooding your home or causing major damage by plugging up a drain while trying to fix another one.
2. Doing your own plumbing can be very rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work. Regardless, if you know what needs to be done and how to do it properly, you can fix most plumbing problems yourself.
3. If you are using PEX tubing for the supply lines in your home, make sure you get the right tools for the job. PEX tubing requires a completely different tool type than regular lines. Make sure you have a PEX cutter on hand to make the job go more smoothly.
4. Be careful about using liquid clog cleaners. These liquids can contain chemicals that are extremely bad for your pipes. Instead, use a snake or a plunger to dislodge any clogs you might encounter. Be sure to try these things before giving up and calling a plumber, who will probably re-perform those same acts.
5. When you're going away on a vacation, you should consider shutting off the water supply to your home. This can help stop many problems before they start. If you don't do this, you should have someone stop by your house regularly to check that nothing has gone wrong and that your home isn't flooded.
6. Make sure that you disconnect all hoses outside your house when the fall season hits. This is important to reduce the chance of freezing, which can cause damage to the connecting pipes. Disconnect all of your water hoses and store them safely to put your family in the best position for the fall.
7. Plumbing is one of those jobs that you should not do your self. If it is something easy like a toilet repair or changing out a faucet, go ahead and give it a try. If it is a major repair, then you are better off hiring a contractor and it may be required to have a licensed plumbing contractor do the work for you.
8. 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.
9. If your sink is letting rusty water out and it will not drain, it is mostly likely because of the biological scum and grease that is built up in the pipes. You need to have your drains professionally cleaned, allowing maximum flow through your drains. Your drains must be open completely.
10. If you are having any kind of problems with your water line or plumbing in general then you will first want to cut of your water supply. One of the most common mistakes that people make is to leave their water running while they are trying to fix things and this leads to bigger problems.