Fixing Plumbing Problems On Your Own
Are you doing your own plumbing for the first time? You probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that doing your own plumbing for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help to make maintaining your own plumbing a bit smoother.
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.
Before starting any plumbing project be sure to turn off the main water supply. Water damage can be one of the most expensive things to repair. To minimize damage turn the main water supply off as well as any shut off valves near where you are working. This will save a great deal of hardship later on.
Pump your septic tank about once every five years, to make sure it is working well. Doing so avoids sediment build up, so that you don’t have any kind of septic system backup. In this case, the cost of prevention definitely outweighs having your septic backing up into your house or failing.
Don’t put oil, grease or fat into your drain. These substances will harden as soon as they cool down, and clog your drains. They’ll also muck up your garbage disposal and cause it to be less efficient. The best thing to do is to dispose of oil-based liquids away from your sinks.
Do not put your hand in the garbage disposal to remove a clog. This can be potentially harmful. Always use tongs to get out whatever is stuck in the disposal. Using tongs is much safer, and you will make sure your hand does not get cut on the disposer’s sharp blades.
By installing shower heads that are more efficient, you will be able to save a lot of money. Most of the hot water we use is from showering. If you use energy efficient heads for your showers, you can save hundreds each year on your bills.
In cold climate areas, sometimes the pipes in the plumbing system freeze. You can thaw them out without calling a plumber. Before beginning this process, open the faucet and begin thawing closest to the faucet and then move down the line as sections thaw out. One method you can use is to wrap the pipe with a heavy towel or burlap and then pour hot water over it, set a bucket underneath to catch the water.
If your sewer is backed up, there are things you can do to troubleshoot and clean, including renting equipment like a main line cable. However, often times this does not fully take care of the problem. A professional needs to assess the issue then, using a camera method, and thoroughly cleaning the main line.
Garbage disposals are a common cause of plumbing problems, which is an easy problem to solve. Don’t just put everything down the disposal or treat it like a second trash can. Use the disposal things that would be difficult to dispose of normally. Putting all leftover food down the sink is a good way to produce clogs.
Ask before the plumber comes out if they charge for the consultation. In order to quote a project, the plumber has to come out to inspect your particular issue. It is standard to charge for the consultation appointment but the prices can vary wildly. Ask upfront so that you aren’t surprised by the total.
If you install a new water heater, and you start to have a leak from the pressure relief valve, you may need an expansion tank installed. The pressure increases when the functioning of the water heater is being performed properly. Therefore, with your new water heater, it may be necessary to have an expansion tank as well.
If you live in an environment where winters get cold, it is crucial that you prepare your pipes for the winter. Leaving pipes as is can cause them to freeze which can create severe plumbing issues. Have your faucet open a little bit when it is really cold to prevent frozen pipes.
It is a general rule of thumb that you should replace a water faucet every seven years, even if you do not see anything wrong with it. Some faucet problems are not visible to the naked eye, which is why it is so important for them to replaced every so often.
As you have seen, doing your plumbing is not as scary as it may appear at first. Just think of all of the benefits it has and all of the expenses it can take care of, along with all of the money it can save you in the long run.