As a homeowner or even a tenant for a rental home, it can be helpful to know some basic plumbing. If your toilet backs up or if your shower drain won’t drain, it could be a simple fix. You don’t want to have to wait on your landlord or a plumber to get things going again.
Many small clogs and leaks can be fixed without the aid of a professional. Continue reading this article to learn the basic tips you should know to keep your plumbing running.
1. Try No Chemical Clog Removal
Maybe you don’t want to keep unnecessary chemicals in your home. Maybe you’d just rather take care of clogs without chemicals. The good news is that you don’t need chemicals to undo a clog in many cases.
You can read more here to learn about finding a plumber, but you can take care of many clogs on your own without chemicals and here’s how.
All you need for a clog in most cases is a simple drain snake. Insert the drain snake into the drain with the clog and then pull it back up. Pretty simple, right?
If that sounds too gross for your tastes, grab a wet/dry shop vac and try sucking the clog out of the drain.
2. Check How Your Shower Head Is Performing
If you’re dealing with a drip, drip, drip, drip from your shower head, it can be maddening! Not only does it sound terrible and drain the last of your patience but it runs your water bill up and decreases your amazing water pressure when you’re taking a shower.
When you notice your shower head is leaking, it is most likely because the threads aren’t connected tightly. Take the shower head off and apply some thread tape clockwise. Once you’ve got the thread tape on, put the shower head back on and see if the leak is gone.
3. Replace Parts in Your Toilet As Needed
Don’t be afraid of the back of your toilet. There are various parts in there that need replacing from time to time. These parts aren’t hard to replace so open up the back of the toilet and take a look.
If you only want to deal with a very basic repair, check your toilet’s flapper. A toilet flapper is often the culprit when you are getting leaks from your toilet. Flappers are very inexpensive and the instructions on the package are easy to follow when you’re ready to put it in your toilet.
4. Thread Tape for the Win
We talked about thread tape when we were fixing the shower head. Some people use sealing compounds for issues like these. If you see instructions on any fixes like these, instead of using sealing compounds, change it out for thread tape.
Sealing compounds often drip and are messy. Skip the mess and use the thread tape.
5. Give Heat a Shot for Loosening Pipes
The pipe wrench is not doing it. When you’re dealing with hardened fittings, your biceps and the tools you have might not do the job.
Grab a hairdryer and try applying hit to the area where you’re having some problems. A hairdryer might not be enough to get the job done and if you need more heat, try a handheld propane torch.
Don’t burn the rest of your sink. Grab some heat resistant materials to put under the sink to protect everything else.
6. Consider Installing a Shut-Off Valve
Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and anywhere else with plumbing can cause serious problems in your home. If you don’t want to shut water off to your entire home, you might consider adding a shut-off valve. Instead of having to shut off the water to the entire house, you can shut water off to the area that you’re working on.
You don’t have to do this but everyone else in the house trying to use water in the other rooms will thank you.
7. Check Your Water Heater Thermostat
Do you know what temperature your water heater thermostat is set at? Most of us haven’t thought twice about how hot our water temperature is. We just turn on the shower and we’re basking in the joy of hot water.
If you’re afraid to put your hand in the water when you only have the hot water on, you should turn the water down. There’s no need to have the water heated so hot that you’re going to get burned and it is costing you money that you need not spend.
Want to save even more money and help your hot water heater do its job? Insulate your water heater tank so hot water will stay hotter for a longer period of time. Avoid covering the thermostat when you’re insulating the water heater tank.
If your water is being heated to above 115, you are likely wasting money heating your water to high temperatures. If you go any lower, you might find your water isn’t hot enough for things like doing the dishes.
Now You’ve Got a Grasp On Basic Plumbing
You’ve got a grasp on basic plumbing now. If you come up against a nasty clog or an annoying leak, try the tips that you learned in this article.
Do you feel like you need more information on how to keep your home running smoothly? We have many other articles on this site that can help you with home issues and more.
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