What You Need To Know About Plumbing and Repairs
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.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
Do not fall for the idea that liquid grease can be easily washed down the drain with hot water. While the grease may flow past the initial drain with the water, it does not take much of a temperature change as it moves through your pipes to alter from liquid to solid. The repeat habit of dumping grease in the sink is a sure-fire way to ensure a hard-to-reach clog forming in the future.
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.
Only pay pay the plumber once the job is done. You might have to put money down initially before the plumber begins the job. However, do not pay everything up front; instead, only pay once the job is successfully completed. It is a good thing to know the plumber did his job as he agreed to before he get’s all of his money.
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 the outdoor faucets to let any remaining water in the lines drain. Once temperatures warm up in the spring, you can reverse the process.
If you have bad water pressure in the shower, the showerhead might be clogged. Take a plastic baggie, fill it with regular vinegar, and tie it to the showerhead so that the showerhead is covered. Leave it overnight. In the morning, take the baggie off and use a small toothbrush to scrub away any mineral deposits.
Unclog drains with ease. Try using a plunger and drain cleaner, as your clog may simply be a build-up of hair and debris. If this doesn’t work you may have to clear the drain with a snake. Feed the snake into the drain line as far as it will go. Turn the crank gently, which will help to loosen the clog. Remove the snake, and run water down the drain to see if the clog has been removed. You may have to use the snake a couple of times, before the clog is cleared so don’t give up!
While various toilet tablets and odor removers may be tempting, it’s best not to use them in your toilet. While they are good at removing odors, they have a detrimental effect on the parts of the toilet that are rubber. This can make it not function correctly and may even break it.
Be sure that the overflow holes are free of debris. Overflows holes can be used in the event the sink overfills, which is a big problem if they are clogged. Clean overflow holes as part of your annual maintenance, and any other time you are handling general plumbing repairs.
If grout has gotten stuck in the line, trying to clean it out yourself is probably not the best idea. You can try to break up the grout and send it further down. This is more successful in plastic plumbing as compared to metal pipes. You may eventually have to get a professional to solve this problem.
When winter is on the horizon, it is particularly important to check your outside water fixtures to ensure they aren’t leaking or dripping. If there are drips or leaks, then the repairs need to be make prior to any freezing temperatures. Regardless of what the pipes in your house are made out of, freezing water will cause them to crack. Even a very tiny crack can cause water to get out and flood your home, or at least cause some water damage.
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.