Taking a step into the wondrous and complex land of plumbing for the very first time might feel a bit daunting. However, by keeping the helpful tips listed below in mind, you will soon find yourself plumbing on par with some of the best plumbers in the field and maintaining your own easily.
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 winterize a house that will sit unused during the winter months, you must completely drain all of the pipes. After turning off the main water supply, let all of the water drain from the faucets, toilets, and water heater (turn off the gas). Add a quart of antifreeze to sinks and the tub to prevent water from freezing in the drain trap.
Be careful about using liquid clog cleaners. These liquids can contain chemicals that are extremely bad for your pipes. Instead, use a snake or a plunger to dislodge any clogs you might encounter. Be sure to try these things before giving up and calling a plumber, who will probably re-perform those same acts.
Try to avoid putting things like fat, oils and grease down the sink drain. When these oils cool, they become hard and create clogs. Oils are especially damaging to garbage disposals. Throw away oils nowhere near the sink.
Drain the sediment from the bottom of your hot water heater twice a year to keep the hot water heater working at its optimal levels. Simply open the drain valve and allow the water to run out into a bucket until the water runs clear. Then close the drain valve.
Make sure to pour a gallon or two of water into drains that are used infrequently. Not only does this make sure that they are clear when you need them, but can also fill the trap and make sure that unpleasant odors don’t enter your home. Doing this periodically will also help you to catch problems before they become serious.
Make sure that any exposed pipes in your home are insulated, especially those found in crawl spaces on the outside walls of your home. This will help keep them from freezing and causing you tons of problems. Frozen pipes can often be devastating and leave you with problems that are expensive to fix and no water in the middle of winter.
If the hot water heater in your house is over ten years old, you should look at replacing it. Hot water heaters are very susceptible to corrosion on the bottom. This can lead to leaking and flooding whatever room it is in. Then not only will you have to replace it, but you’ll have to fix any damage caused by the leak.
So, after reading and applying the helpful tips listed above, you should feel a bit more at ease in the land of plumbing. You have the tools; it’s time to use them. You should feel empowered and ready to begin your plumbing journey to start taking care of your home’s plumbing system.