April 20, 2016
Do you want to make improvements or repairs to your home’s plumbing? Would you like to know how to deal with an emergency? Dealing with issues related to plumbing can be complicated. Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone, there are a lot of things you need to be aware of. Here are some useful facts and tips.
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 you start a plumbing project you should tighten all of the pipes that are easily accessible. Especially if your pipes are making a range of loud banging sounds, as this is a clear sign that there are loose pipes along the line. It is also a good idea in case there is a clog so the excess pressure released does not break a loose pipe.
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.
You need to winter-proof your house. You have to make sure you switch of the master circuit breaker or the shut-off valve before you leave your house. Since one small hole or congested water can quickly freeze and cause pipes to break and expand, you need to drain and open all outdoor and household water lines.
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.
Check your gas water heater periodically to make sure the pilot flame is lit. The correct color for this flame should be blue. The tip of the flame should be yellow. If you find that you are only seeing a yellow flame, you may need to call a professional for safety reasons.
Watch how your toilets are flushing. If you have to jiggle the handle or if it takes too long, you might have to repair some toilet parts. Replacing these parts early may help you to save on your water bills and will save you from more expensive repairs at a later date.
Always keep your garbage disposal clean. You can do this in many ways. Pour some dish soap in and let the disposal run for a few minutes with some cold water. Be sure to run it regularly, if not, it can cause rust. To eliminate foul odors, grind lemon or other citrus peels. You can clean the walls of the disposal by grinding small fruit pits or egg shells.
Being educated about plumbing issues is essential if you are a homeowner. Problems can occur when we least expect it, so understanding how to handle common DIY projects, and knowing what you need to be aware of in hiring a contractor will all go a long way towards getting your project done, and done well.