Every once in a while, we have questions about plumbing. Everyone wants to understand how to fix a problem, or how to ensure their plumbing is well maintained so as to prevent problems from happening again, for example. Read on to learn the answers to these questions so that you can handle plumbing problems yourself.
Rigid copper is used for main water lines in many homes. You cannot bend rigid copper, so joints and tees must be soldered on. When soldering, always apply flux (also called soldering paste) to both surfaces. Flux retards oxidation when the copper is heated. Always use lead-free or nearly lead-free solder when sweating a copper joint.
Water hammer problems, pipe noise due to water hitting the back of the pipe, can be easily repaired. Exposed pipes need to be properly anchored. You may need the assistance of a professional in the case that the pipes are contained within a floor or ceiling.
To keep your pipes from getting frozen, always maintain a temperature in the house above freezing and make sure all pipes exposed to outside elements are insulated properly. The pipes may freeze if the surrounding temperature drops below freezing. If you are lucky, you will only experience a minor inconvenience until the pipes thaw. In the worst case, the pipes would burst, and you would be stuck with costly repairs and a very messy cleanup procedure.
Roots from a tree in your back yard can be a real headache when it comes to plumbing. Make sure if you have a big tree or bush or some kind of plant with a big root system, that you ask your plumbing company about root killing agents. You can flush these down your toilet and kill any roots that may be blocking your pipes and save yourself a lot of money by stopping a back up before it happens.
Do not put cooking oils, fat, or grease, down your drain. These fats cause clogs by solidifying in pipes. To properly dispose of fats, put them in a bowl with a lid that you can dispose of. Once it gets hard, throw it in the trash or compost bin.
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.
When plunging a drain to attempt to remove a blockage, first make sure that the drain is completely covered in water. This helps to form a seal. Then, plunge at least fifteen to twenty times before stopping. Repeat the process two to three times. If this doesn’t work, try a chemical drain cleaner.
One of the ways that you can improve the functionality of your shower head is to clean the mineral deposits from the surface. Unscrew your shower head and soak it in vinegar overnight. In the morning, brush off the deposits with a toothbrush to help the flow of water for your showers.
Keep an eye on your monthly water bill to catch plumbing problems. Has your water bill gone up recently, even though nothing’s changed? This could indicate a water leak or appliance problem somewhere inside or outside of your home. Check under sinks for rusted pipes, look for water puddles under outside faucets, and consider having a plumber come out to listen to your pipes to detect running water.
Many people complain of low water pressure. While there are several things that can cause this, one must not be overlooked when starting your investigation. What kind of pipes do you have? If your piping is galvanized, you are better off just replacing your piping which will eliminate the issue.
A plumbing snake is an essential tool in any homeowner’s tool box. Snakes can be used to unclog kitchen and bathrooms drains and toilets when clogged with hardened debris. They are useful as well for grabbing hold of items dropped down sink drains. Snakes come in a variety of sizes for home use and heavier-duty models can often be rented for bigger jobs.
If you are switching out an old water heater for a new one and you see a pipe connected to the drainage pipe, take the time to connect that pipe. This is probably a recirculation pipe. It does a lot to keep your water hot while minimizing inefficient wasting of water.
Run dishwashers and washing machines at night, or during times when people are not using that much water. This will keep water pressure strong for showers and other things, while making sure that dishwashing and laundry still takes place in a timely manner. It also preserves energy costs and use.
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.
You should consider getting a stainless steel sink if you are in need of a new sink. Stainless steel sinks are much better than other ones for many reasons. They are more durable, they absorb shock, they are easier to clean, and they go with almost any decor.
If your water bill seems unusually high and you haven’t changed your water usage, the problem is most likely in the service line. The cost to hire a professional to find and repair the service line most often is far greater than installing a new line and then having the old one shut off permanently.
Always learn about the options before you actually begin working on home or public plumbing system. If you keep an eye on your plumbing system regularly, you’ll notice issues before they become major concerns. Apply these tips and take the time to inspect and maintain your system to save money.