Sometimes plumbing is a complex subject. If this overwhelms you, read more for practical and easy advice on performing plumbing projects.
You always want to solder correctly, the biggest mistake most people make when soldering is failing to get the interior of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe clean and shiny. Polish these surfaces with a fine emery clot until bright. When soldering, never heat the pipe, but instead heat the fitting. Doing so allows the solder to be drawn into the fitting by capillary action.
Don’t put things like fat, oil or grease down your drains. When they cool down, they get hard and that will cause clogs in your sink drains. This is primarily true if you are someone who has a garbage disposal; the fats will make the blades go slower and less freely. See to it that you dispose the oils away from your sink.
One way to prevent water heater problems is to turn down the heat. As long as the water is still as hot as needed for showers and washing dishes, turning it down won’t hurt anything, and will extend the life of the heater. Holding very hot water can corrode the inside.
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.
Every now and then, you should pour a large bucket of water down your basement floor drain. This will help to keep the trap seal full and prevent certain gases from coming up into your home. Also, be sure that you have your floor drain checked by a professional every few years.
When searching for a good plumber you should always check references. It is easy to just go with the lowest price, but you have to do your research and make sure the plumber has a good reputation with the people they have done work for in the past so you do not get a bad plumber.
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.
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.
If you think you understand what is wrong with your toilet, but aren’t sure, you should first do some more research on the internet. Most plumbing problems are fairly standard, and you should be able to read about the problem in great detail on several amateur plumber forums to make sure you understand the problem.
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.
The best thing you can do if you smell a foul odor coming from your toilet is to call a plumber. There is a good chance that you may have a sewer backup. Not only can this cause pipe damage, but inhaling the smells from sewer backups is harmful to your help.
While it might help to conserve a bit of water to not flush the toilet after every use or only under certain conditions, regularly flushing toilets can help keep water moving in pipes and prevent freezing. The same holds true for letting water run in sinks as well. If you have rarely used bathrooms in your home, make it point to to flush the toilets and run the faucets on a regular basis.
You should try using a plumbing snake or plumber to unclog a clog. Liquid cleaners that are meant to unclog the clogs in a drain could ruin the pipes. You should also use strainers to catch hair so that it doesn’t go down the drain and get clumped and clog your drain.
Use a shop vacuum to unplug your toilets or drains, if a hard object is clogging it. Using a plunger will only push the object further and make it impossible to remove. If you do not have a shop vacuum, you can rent one from most Walmart stores or from similar franchises.
If you need to locate a pipe under the floor, attach a strong magnet to a solid line coated with fish tape. Flush the magnet or throw it in a drain. Make sure to attach the line to something or to have someone hold it. Use a compass to locate the magnet and the pipe.
If you have minor ceiling stains from plumbing water damage that has been repaired, you might not have to repaint the entire ceiling. Try taking a solution of bleach and water and dabbing the area with a sponge to lighten them. Make sure you protect your hands and eyes when working over your head.
As you can see, plumbing isn’t so scary when you know what to do. Follow the tips you’ve read here next time you have a problem with your plumbing, and soon your problem will be solved, all without having to call an expensive plumber to fix the problem for you.