Water is the source of life, but it is sometimes a nemesis to a homeowner with plumbing problems. Besides dealing with natural disasters, a major plumbing problem can be one of the most challenging parts of home ownership. Luckily, there are many things people can do to stave off plumbing disasters and make sure the damage is minimal when unexpected events do happen.
If your water pipe has frozen, start water running in the faucet closest to the frozen pipe. This will give excess water somewhere to drain as the ice in the pipe thaws. If there is too much pressure within the pipe, it may burst, causing other forms of damage in the home.
To prevent frozen pipes, always keep the living spaces in your house above freezing, even if you aren’t home. Any exposed pipes need to be insulated against the outdoor temperatures. Pipes will begin to freeze as soon as they reach freezing temperatures. If you are lucky, you will only experience a minor inconvenience until the pipes thaw. The worst case scenario is a busted pipe and a costly repair.
Knowing your tools and how to use them can help greatly in your plumbing experience. Read each and every manual, and utilize the information that can be found in libraries and the Internet about do-it-yourself projects. Be sure to plan before starting a repair, because it can be expensive to fix mistakes.
To deal with a frozen pipe, turn on the faucet closest to the pipe. This gives the water a place to exit as the pipe defrosts. This relieves the pressure contained in the pipe as it also prevents it from bursting, which would reduce the damage done to your house.
You need to avoid using any kind of tablet or odor remover in your toilet if at all possible. It may help to get rid of your toilet’s odors, but it will damage any rubber parts, causing your toilet to malfunction, or even break down.
Knowing which tools to use and how you should use them is an important skill when it comes to plumbing. Use manuals and online sites to get informed before doing a plumbing project yourself. Think ahead and learn everything you can before tackling a plumbing repair project. If you make things worse rather than better, you’ll have to pay expensive plumbing fees to fix the problems.
Keep a strainer over every drain in your house to prevent stray debris from clogging your pipes. The strainer in the kitchen sink should be cleaned each time you have large particles trapped in it. You should clean out the strainer in your bathtub often.
Don’t put fat, grease and other oils into the drain. When they cool, they will harden and create clogs in your drains. This is primarily true if you are someone who has a garbage disposal; the fats will make the blades go slower and less freely. Throw away oils nowhere near the sink.
It is very important to to use lots of cold water when running your garbage disposal. The helps sharpen the blades and clears out the drain mechanism. If you use hot water instead of cold, it will turn any fat into liquid and cause the fat to clog your pipes when it later cools and solidifies.
Use baking soda and one cup of vinegar per month to keep the bathtub drain clear and running well. This will cause a chemical reaction to occur and you should plug the drain. After a few minutes,just flush the drain out with water that has reached a boiling point. Your pipes will soon be clear of accumulated hair and soap scum.
If there is unwanted water draining into the dishwasher, it is most likely because of the hose to the kitchen sink being installed improperly. The hose at the kitchen sink going to the dishwasher should follow a specific uphill, then downhill pattern. This prevents unwanted mixing of water between the sink and dishwasher.
Always have cold water running when you are using your garbage disposal. The cold water helps the blades that are inside stay sharp, and will keep your disposal running smoothly. Using hot water will cause grease to liquefy and accumulate in the drain, which will cause clogs in your pipes.
When your pipes have clogs and you are thinking of using a pipe cleaner, choose a cleaner that is enzyme based. These natural bacteria cleaners turn sludge into liquid, and then remove it from the pipes. The most highly recommended pipe cleaners are enzyme cleaners.
If you have any water in your dishwasher that should not be there, check the connection on your kitchen sink. Your hose must run in a hill pattern to avoid water mixing. Think of the St. Louis Arch — start from your sink, go uphill with the hose, and then down before connecting to the dishwasher. This way, only pressurized water can travel through the hose. Leakage won’t be an issue.
If you get grout stuck in the plumbing, it’s going to be very difficult to remove by yourself. With a little effort, you can get some of the grout broken down and on its way down the line. This is much easier if your pipes are plastic, rather than metal. On the other hand, this situation usually ends in a call to a professional plumber.
To lower the chance that you will have issues with your toilet, do not approach it like it’s a trash can. Don’t flush paper towels, diapers, cotton balls, tissues or any other materials besides toilet paper. These items don’t dissolve and can cause clogs. Use the least amount of toilet paper that you can; use just as much as necessary to properly clean yourself.
Don’t run the water when the garbage disposal is used. It seems like water would help make the disposal function more smoothly, and many people simply assume that this is so, but it is not really the case. Running water can help clear debris and keep the disposal’s temperature down, but it can also cause sticky materials to clog the disposal.
Good education and preparation are the key to avoiding plumbing woes. By learning more about plumbing, a homeowner can make the right decisions and reduce the chance of plumbing problems. It is best for one to do one’s research and try fixing one’s plumbing issues before things get worse.
Stay away from drain cleaners if possible. There are some harsh, corrosive chemicals found in these drain cleaners. That’s why they work so well to knock out clogs. Over time, they will corrode your pipes. Sometimes, finding a professional to fix a blocked drain is the best way to solve the problem.