Every homeowner’s worst nightmare is to awaken to flooding in their house. We tend to forget about things we don’t see, and plumbing systems usually do their thing in hidden areas. But just like everything else, your plumbing is subject to wear and tear. And the best way to avoid a plumbing disaster is with a good knowledge of basic plumbing problems and solutions. Here are our 9 essential plumbing tips that you should master as a homeowner.
It’s pretty much inevitable that we will all at some time experience a clogged drain. When we take showers, our hair falls out and it builds up over time. Your first instinct, when confronted with a clog, might be to use one of those liquid drain cleaners. Do not ever. Avoid drain cleaners at all costs. I know- it seems like a simple fix, but chemicals in the drain cleaners can disintegrate your plumbing pipes. Instead, if your drain keeps getting clogged, get a snake or call a plumber that can pull out the blockage.
Only flush toilet paper and your own waste down the toilet. Feminine products, children’s toys! lol… baby wipes, paper towels, and other things get caught in your pipes and lead to severe clogs. If you don’t own a plunger, its a good economical investment (we all get a clog eventually).
You also want to pay attention to the sounds that your toilet makes. A running toilet is a telltale sign that one or more components in the toilet tank may need replacing. If something sounds amiss- it probably is. But sometimes toilet leaks can be so tiny they don’t make any noise. You can check for these invisible leaks by putting food coloring in the toilet tank. After half an hour, check the water in the toilet bowl. If you see any color, you’ve got a leak.
Your water main is the first access point for water going into your home. Here in Texas, it is frequently on the sidewalk near the front of your house. On the water main you’ll see a shutoff valve (either a lever or wheel). This valve will completely stop the flow of water into your home when you close it.
If you ever have flooding from a burst pipe, shutting off the water main is going to be the first step you take to prevent further damage.
Garbage disposals can be finicky. It is important to be cautious of what you put down them. Be especially wary of pouring any fats, oils, or grease down the drain. These will solidify when they cool down and can cause buildup in your pipes.
Helpful Disposal Maintenance that is easy- Before running your garbage disposal, run cold water down the drain for five or ten seconds first, and continue to run cold water for a few seconds after you stop. Put some ice cubes in the garbage disposal periodically to keep the blades sharp.
Dripping faucets are not just a nuisance- They also waste a ton of water! Believe it or not- just a drop or two every minute adds up to thousands of gallons in a year (and expensive water bills!). Dripping faucets are most often the result of two things: Faulty fixtures or high water pressure. If you have a working PRV, chances are it’s the former.
If you do have high water pressure in your home, you’re going to want to get it down to a safe level. You can do this by having a PRV valve installed. PRV’s are a must-have in most homes that depend on a municipal water supply. That’s because municipal water companies have to pump water at high pressures to serve fire hydrants, high-elevation homes, and high-rise buildings as well as to your home. They often deliver water at over 100 psi, while your home (and all your plumbing fixtures) are designed for pressure in the 50-60 psi range. So, The PRV helps regulate this. If it is not working properly, problems can occur.
Water damage from frozen pipe bursts can be extremely costly. Anyone living in Texas last year during the freeze can attest to that. Hopefully, since that painful lesson, most North Texas homeowners have insulated their pipes. If you haven’t yet- Make sure your home is properly insulated and any exterior pipes and fixtures have cold weather protection.
Water heaters have a lifespan. If it is 8 years or older- it’s probably time for a replacement. Trying to milk it for everything it’s got is not a great idea and can be dangerous. Parts fail. Can Explode. Flood. That water heater tank is holding 50 gallons or more. That’s more than enough water to do some serious damage if that tank springs a leak.
For even the most avid DIY’er-It’ll pay off big time to add a local plumber to your Rolodex. Not every plumbing problem has a simple DIY plumbing tip fix. And having someone on speed-dial that you’re on a first-name basis with will make life easier if you end up with a plumbing disaster some time down the road.
Find a plumber with a good reputation and give them a call. Schrader Plumbing is a highly rated Plumbing Company in the North Richland Hills area.
The best way to kick off a new relationship with a plumber is to have them do a home inspection. Call Schrader Plumbing today to have one of our technicians look over your plumbing system and get it up to speed.Categories: Burst Pipes, DIY, How to's, Leak Detection, Water Heaters,
Last Modified: January 31, 2022 at 5:39 pm