If you are a first time homeowner or maybe someone who has just moved out of Mom and Dad’s humble abode, you may not know a lick about plumbing and basement waterproofing, but there are certain things that you should know. This article will discuss some of them, and you will be more knowledgeable after reading the tips below.Find a plumber that you can trust. Make sure to get referrals from friends and family so that you can prevent getting ripped off, which happens often. Also make sure not to pay the plumber before the work is completed. If you do that, there will not be an incentive to get the job completed in a timely manner.To keep your pipes from freezing in the winter, insulate all exterior pipes and be sure to keep your interior house temperature above freezing, even if the house is vacant. But, be advised that your pipes may freeze if the surrounding temperature near those pipes is less than freezing. It will take a while for the pipes to thaw, leaving you without running water. However, they could burst, and that could make a mess and result in a big repair bill.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.If your toilet is slow to flush, add some white vinegar to the overflow tube. White vinegar helps the water from your tank to flow quickly, which will make the toilet flush faster. It is recommended that you use about a quart of the vinegar and let it stay there for at least an hour before flushing.Some people have problems with their plumbing system in that the pipes sweat and drip condensation. You do not have to hire a plumber or a waterproofer to take care of this nuisance. You can purchase self-adhesive drip tape from your local hardware store. This drip tape will insulate your “sweating” pipes which are dripping with moisture built up from condensation. To make sure the tape sticks firmly, dry the pipe thoroughly before applying the tape.To avoid sediment buildup, drain gallons of water from your water heater to flush any corrosion. This will help your heater to run more efficiently therefore saving you regular energy costs. Make sure to read your heater’s instructions before attempting this, and do this periodically to make sure that your heater is running as well as it can.If your toilet is constantly developing moisture on the outside, you may want to consider turning up the heat in your bathroom. The biggest cause of “sweaty” toilets is cool and moist air. Believe it or not, this moisture could actually cause damage to your toilet, so it is crucial that you fix the problem.Leaking basement of Toronto and Etobicoke residentsGot 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.WaterRigid 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.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.When you grind things up in the garbage disposal, don’t run the water while doing so. People are misguided in thinking that it will work better with the water running, but it is actually of no help. Running water can help clear debris and keep the disposal’s temperature down, but it can also cause sticky materials to clog the disposal.Now that you have read these plumbing tips, you should feel a little more comfortable about looking after that scary hardware that lurks in some rooms of your home. Follow the advice above and you are sure to do the right things when tinkering around with any of the pipes.