Plumbing can be a very personal type of home improvement. It involves particular needs of an individual’s home. This vast world has so many techniques, equipment, and regulations that it can seem a bit confusing as to where you need to begin. These tips can help you make sense of the confusion.
When choosing a plumber make sure he is insured and licensed. This is very important. If there is a plumbing emergency, you want to make sure the plumber has met the training requirements of the state. If he is insured, this covers any accidental damage done while fixing your plumbing.
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.
Look closely at your toilets several times throughout the year. Check to see if there are any leaks that you may not have noticed; you can do this by placing five or six drops of food coloring in the tank. If there is a leak, the color will seep into the bowl within half an hour. This process will help you catch a small problem before it gets too out of control.
When it gets very cold, your pipes may freeze. If it does, relieve the pressure in the pipe by turning on the tap so the water can be released as the pipe thaws. This helps decrease any pressure in order to prevent burst pipes. A burst pipe can create damage that is expensive to repair.
Check how well your toilets are flushing. If the handle needs to be played with in order to keep the water from running constantly, or if it needs to be held down several times in order to flush, you may need to switch out some of the parts in your tank. This is not expensive, and it could help reduce your monthly water bill. It could also mean that you avoid the embarrassment of the flushing system breaking when you have visitors!
While it may seem like a seemingly harmless thing to do, never run potato peels through your garbage disposal. The chemical make up of this seemingly harmless food allows the potato to turn into a thick, viscous substance that can wreak havoc on the disposal itself, with the potential to render it completely useless.
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.
The dryer has a lint trap that must be kept clean. This is preventative maintenance that will prevent many problems, including fires. Look over the lint trap to make sure there aren’t any rips or holes. This can cause problems like clogs.
Frozen pipes can lead to many problems, most of them expensive to fix. So you want to avoid that at all costs. To avoid frozen pipes, make sure the temperature in your home never drops below 55 degrees. Look for any air leaks around your pipes and make sure they’re sealed up.
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.
While plumbing can be a very personal type of home improvement, it does share the main goal of needing to be functional in the home. As you have seen in these tips, there are various approaches, but they are all created around the idea of having a great plumbing system.