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Fix a plumbing problem yourself


March 14, 2017 If you’re a homeowner and have had to call a plumber to fix a problem, you know how expensive and annoying it can be. Wouldn’t it be great if you could fix your plumbing yourself? Well, it might be easier than you think! Read on to find out how. When choosing a plumber make sure he is insured and licensed. This is very important. If there is a plumbing emergency, you want to make sure the plumber has met the training requirements of the state. If he is insured, this covers any accidental damage done while fixing your plumbing. To avoid clogs, pay attention to what you flush. Sanitary napkins, thick toilet paper and baby wipes should never be flushed. These items can expand and cause a clog, or get caught on a pipe. Instead, dispose of them in a sanitary way that does not involve flushing them down the toilet. 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. In order to avoid unsightly and unnecessary clogs in your shower, invest in a drain strainer. This cost-effective addition to your shower will gather your hair before it makes it to the drain, and limit the chances that you will find yourself showering while standing in a clogged up mess. Making sure you know all of your problems so you can have them fixed by one plumber visit is very beneficial. Having them all fixed in one visit takes a lot of money off of your bill because you don’t have to pay for the visit multiple times so make sure you make a list first. Have you tried patching your pipe with the store-bought patching kits only to have that section of your plumbing continue leaking? Replacing the damaged pipe is a more permanent solution than patching. First, you must shut off the main water valve, and drain the water from the damaged section. Cut out the damaged section of the copper pipe, leaving about an inch of extra pipe on both sides of the damaged area. Remove corrosion from inside the pipes with a wire brush. Apply flux to the replacement pipe and the remaining pipe. Slide the piece of replacement pipe into place with couplings. Apply solder all around the joint, and use a propane torch to solder the replacement section into place. While it may seem like a seemingly harmless thing to do, never run potato peels through your garbage disposal. The chemical make up of this seemingly harmless food allows the potato to turn into a thick, viscous substance that can wreak havoc on the disposal itself, with the potential to render it completely useless. Leaking Got a leaky pipe? In many cases you can repair this yourself without the expense of a plumber. If a joint is leaking, tighten it with a pipe wrench. If the leak is coming from a damaged section of pipe, you can try repairing with a store-bought patching kit. One method involves applying waterproof tape to the section of pipe where there is leakage. Before applying the tape, make sure the pipe is thoroughly dry. Make sure that the tape covers two to three inches on either side of the breakage in the pipe. Have you tried patching your pipe with the store-bought patching kits only to have that section of your plumbing continue leaking? Replacing the damaged pipe is a more permanent solution than patching. First, you must shut off the main water valve, and drain the water from the damaged section. Cut out the damaged section of the copper pipe, leaving about an inch of extra pipe on both sides of the damaged area. Remove corrosion from inside the pipes with a wire brush. Apply flux to the replacement pipe and the remaining pipe. Slide the piece of replacement pipe into place with couplings. Apply solder all around the joint, and use a propane torch to solder the replacement section into place. Water Make sure everyone that lives in your house knows where to find and use the main water shut off valve in case there is a burst pipe emergency. This is especially important if you live in an area where your pipes may freeze. Take a moment to show your family members where the valve is and how to properly shut it off. 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. Use your garbage disposal with the cold water running so that you can preserve the blades of the disposal. Using hot water makes grease more liquid and can cause problems, including clogs. Make sure to clean blades by putting in a little dish detergent and run cold water at the same time. As you can see, solving your plumbing problems yourself can be a satisfying way to save money and take care of your house independently. Next time you have a plumbing problem, you’ll be ready to tackle the issue yourself with the tips you’ve taken from this article.
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