Every homeowner knows that sometimes things happen in the middle of the night when there are not many emergency services available. We’ve all experienced plumbing issues in the worst possible time, and we’ve wished we knew how to fix those little things. There are times when you need a professional to fix your problem, but sometimes, there can be a small leak that can be easily fixed with a few things.
Here we are going to give you some tips about plumbing that everyone needs to know. You won’t need a lot of time to learn how these things are done, and when something happens, you will be able to patch things up until a professional is called. In some cases, doing these things and reacting fast will make the difference between spending a little amount of money to get everything done, and spending thousands of dollars to take care of the issue, plus the possible damage costs.
1. Know where your pipes are located
Sometimes we need to drill a hole in our walls, but if you don’t know where your pipes are located, you risk puncturing them. The same goes for pounding nails, and no matter how innocent the project looks, you may do a lot of damage.
Because of that, the next time you have a plumber in your home, ask them where your pipes are located. You should have this information in the blueprints of the house. You can also use a stud-finder to look for the pipes before you decide to do anything to your walls.
Every homeowner has to know where the main valves are located in their homes. You need this information in case something leaks or a pipe gets damaged, so you can act right away and turn the water off.
Usually, they are located near the sink in the kitchen and bathroom, and these valves will shut the water off in that room only. The main valves should be located outside of your home, in the basement, or sometimes in the garage. Check with your plumber, or if you are moving into a new house, always ask the agent or the previous homeowners.
3. The plunger is your best friend
When it comes to clogged drains or pipes, you should know that the plunger is your best friend. Because of that, you need to invest in a good and quality one that you will keep somewhere close.
This device is not used only when something is clogged, but it can also help you out before you decide to clean your skin or the oil trap. Before doing anything else, you should use the plunger to push the water and the debris down so that you can easily reach and clean everything else.
4. Leaks should not be ignored
If you notice a small leak, it does not mean that it’s not scary and that it can wait for a day or maybe a week till you get to it. The first thing why should not ignore them is because your water bill will get so much bigger. You don’t want to spend extra money on things that can be easily fixed.
Experts say that a leaking toilet can waste about 250 gallons of water per day and a dripping tap can waste about 10 gallons. You should learn more about when it is time to do the fixes on your own, and when it is better to call an emergency plumber.
The first thing you can do is use thread seal tape to fix the dripping, or you can change the washer valve, the seat washer, and the rubber seats, depending on the type of tap you have.
5. Overtightening is wrong
One mistake everyone makes is overtightening everything they work on. So, the next time you need to close the connections and the fittings remember this advice.
When you use too much force, you can break bolts or strip the screws. Even if that does not happen the first time around, you will have to use the same amount of force when you have to loosen them up. In time, they will get damaged, and you may even burst a pipe. By tightening things too much, you will not do anything better. The important thing is, they should be tight enough not to break or leak, but they should not be tighter than a hand-tight.
6. The thread seal tape is your friend
You should have at least one plumber’s tape in your home at all times. This is also called Teflon tape, or thread seal tape and you can find it in pretty much every store that sells home appliances or electronic devices.
This thing can not only fix leaks, but it can also prevent them. Plumbers recommend that you should put it around every pipe or faucet before you seal them and you can also wrap it around the fittings and the joints.
This tape comes in white, and you should not mistake it with the yellow one that’s used for gas line connections. If you are not sure how it looks, and which one is the right for you, you can always consult a plumber, or ask the seller in the store.
These are the most important things you should know when it comes to plumbing and how to prevent or fix small leaks. You should also learn which things can be flushed in the toilet, and which ones need to be thrown away in the garbage. The same thing is applied for throwing things in the drain. For example, you should never throw Q-tips in the toilet, and you should never pour grease down the drain. These things will clog the pipes and they can do a lot of damage.
The vacuum cleaner can help you out when you want to get a small item from the drain, and it can be used to unclog pipes. Just make sure you use a vacuum cleaner that won’t get damaged if it comes in contact with water.
If you don’t think you can fix or unclog things on your own, you should always contact a plumber, because doing things on your own, may result in pipes getting damaged and things getting even more clogged.