Plumbing systems are fairly complex. As such, when they incur problems, they typically need to be handled by trained professionals. That being said, as the owner of your plumbing system, you need to have some cursory knowledge about its features and functionality.
Looking to educate yourself on your plumbing system? Then read on! Here are 8 DIY plumbing tips everyone needs to know.
1. Brush Up on Pipe Puncture Risks
Your water pipes are the arteries of your plumbing system, pumping water from appliance to appliance at all hours of the day. Should they ever become damaged, your system will cease to operate as needed.
This is why it’s key for you to brush up on pipe puncture risks. There are a number of different ways in which water pipes can be punctured, and you want to avoid them like the plague.
The primary reason that pipes burst is that they’re subjected to exceedingly cold temperatures. Sub-zero temperatures can cause water to freeze in a pipe, causing it to expand and burst. For this reason, when the weather gets cold, it’s wise to leave your faucets on a drip.
Pipes can also be punctured by nails that have been hammered into walls. If a pipe is located just behind the wall, the nail could easily be driven through it. To prevent this from happening, you should use a stud finder.
High water pressure can cause a pipe to burst as well. Check your water pressure regularly to ensure that it’s in the 30 to 50 PSI range.
2. Know What Is and Isn’t Flushable
In some cases, there’s no better way to dispose of something than by flushing it down the toilet. Know, however, that toilets and plumbing pipes are not necessarily equipped to handle some items.
Items that aren’t flushable include baby wipes, condoms, paper towels, medications, kitty litter, and bleach, to name just a few. However, there’s a whole slew of other items as well.
As a rule of thumb, you should reserve your toilet for toilet paper. Other items can easily be disposed of in the trash.
3. Understand Which Foods Will Clog Your Disposal
If you own a garbage disposal, you probably already know: garbage disposals are easily clogged. The reason for this? They’re not compatible with a good many of the foods that are thrown their way.
As such, to keep your disposal in working order, you need to study up on what can and can’t be put in it. Some items that can’t be put in your disposal include eggshells, grease, coffee grounds, nuts, seeds, and fruit pits.
You can learn about more plumbing mistakes such as these by reading this article right now.
4. Learn the Power of a Plunger
When most people think of plungers, they think of toilets. However, plungers can actually be used to remove clogs of all kinds, whether they exist in sinks, drains, or otherwise. For this reason, it’s important to have an array of plungers on hand around the house.
To use a plunger correctly, make sure that there’s no water trapped beneath it. Scrape it along the bottom of the clogged entity until it’s suctioned onto the drain hole. Then, pump it up and down 3 to 5 times and repeat the process until the clog is removed.
5. Buy a Wet-Dry Vacuum
It’s not just hair and gunk that clog drains. Hard objects such as toothbrushes and dental floss containers can cause the problem as well.
Unfortunately, these items can be fairly difficult to remove with a plunger. In fact, a plunger will often make matters worse.
This is where the wet-dry vacuum comes in. Not only can wet-dry vacuums work in wet spaces, but they can also suction up hard items, making them perfect for the clearing of tough clogs.
6. Keep an Eye Out for Leaks
Water leaks are insidious. They seem small, but they make a huge impact. In fact, a dripping faucet that’s allowed to persist for a full year could waste over 2,000 gallons of water.
As such, you need to keep an eye on leaks around your house and fix them as soon as they arise. Check everything from the pipes under your sinks to your toilets to your bathtub faucet and otherwise. Any water leak that presents itself will cost you money.
7. Clean Your Showerhead Regularly
If you have excess minerals in your water (i.e.m calcium, magnesium, etc.), they are likely building up in the interiors of your water fixtures and appliances. While all fixtures and appliances will experience this phenomenon, the one that will be affected by it the most is the showerhead.
Why? Because the intricately-designed interior mechanisms of showerheads can lead to frequent mineral clogs.
As such, it’s important for you to clean your showerhead regularly. Every 6 months or so, put some white vinegar in a small plastic bag and tie it over the showerhead. Let it soak for a few hours, and the minerals should dissolve.
8. Always Have Plumbing Tape Handy
Our last tip is simple: always have plumbing tape handy. Plumbing tape can be vital in helping you to stop leaks. While it’s not a long-term solution, it can reduce the impact of the leak until it can be handled by a professional.
When using plumbing tape, make sure to wrap it at least three times. This will create a watertight seal that will last for the foreseeable future. Once you’ve done this, call your local plumber and get a permanent fix.
Keep the Water Flowing With These Plumbing Tips
Whether it’s a clog, a leak, or some other plumbing problem, it can greatly compromise the functionality of your plumbing system. And while they won’t eliminate all plumbing problems, the above-reviewed plumbing tips can work wonders in maintaining the integrity of your pipes and water appliances.
Should you ever require the services of a professional plumber, you can find one right here. Our website features listings of professionals all over the United States.