March 13, 2017
If you’re having issues with plumbing, be sure you’re handling it as effectively as possible. At first, you may need to get help from several sources, but then use these tidbits to begin work.
If you are paying someone else to do the plumbing in your home be sure that they are licensed in your state to do that work. Some people who have little or no knowledge of plumbing will try to pass themselves off as a pro. So you can see the importance of checking to see if your plumber is licensed. You should also see if you can find positive testimonials about the plumbers work.
Avoid frozen pipes this winter! Keep a small trickle of water dripping from faucets, and wrap your uninsulated pipes with foam or newspaper. If possible, keep the doors open between unheated and heated rooms. In an unheated area such as a garage or laundry room, keep a small heater next to the pipes. Remember to do this before the first cold snap hits.
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.
When starting a plumbing project that is due to loud noises in your pipes empty the pipes first. This can be an easy fix to an other wise wasted huge job. Just close the main water line and open the facets throughout the house. After the water has stopped flowing turn the water on from the main source and check to see if the noise is eliminated.
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.
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.
Set up a time when all plumbing work will be completed at one time. If a problem is minor, it can be wise to put off repair until you have more than one item to fix. This also gives you time to save up for the needed repairs. It is a lot more cost effective as you will only be paying for one call-out fee instead of multiple trips.
You can check your toilet for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring, Kool Aid or some coffee grounds to the water in the toilet’s tank (not the water in the bowl). Check the water in the bowl after a half hour or so. If any of the coloring agent is visible in the water in the bowl, the tank is leaking, and you will have to have it repaired.
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.
Use the sounds you hear from your pipes to help you to determine what they problem is. Certain sounds mean the water pressure is too high. Other sounds can signify loose pipes or slight clogs from calcium or iron build up. Listening to your pipes can save you a lot of money hunting down the problem.
If you have issues with the plumbing making a hammering sound when you turn it off, check your water pressure. Any time your water pressure is above 80 PSI, you will hear extra water noise. This can be easily solved by the installation of a pressure-reducing valve, which can be done by most homeowners.
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!
If you’re ready to conquer plumbing issues, keep these tips in mind. Getting a plumber for the job that is effective, affordable, and has a proven record can end up being more difficult than fixing the pipes alone. Treat this advice seriously.