When you think of plumbing, do you just see it as a hidden and mysterious network of pipes and pumps that makes your toilets and sinks work? If so, then you are very unlikely to have a go at maintaining or repairing the system. Plumbing is not actually that complicated, and there are many things that you can do yourself to maintain and repair your system. Read on to find out how.
To prevent the pipes from freezing, it is advisable to seal off air vents, cracks and access doors. In order to keep the heat in and the cold out, you can try using insulation or caulk. In the event a leak occurs, make it a point to remind everyone where the master circuit breaker is so it can be shut off immediately.
Be careful about using liquid clog cleaners. These liquids can contain chemicals that are extremely bad for your pipes. Instead, use a snake or a plunger to dislodge any clogs you might encounter. Be sure to try these things before giving up and calling a plumber, who will probably re-perform those same acts.
You need to winter-proof your house. You have to make sure you switch of the master circuit breaker or the shut-off valve before you leave your house. Since one small hole or congested water can quickly freeze and cause pipes to break and expand, you need to drain and open all outdoor and household water lines.
Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut off valve is and that they know how to work it. That way, if there is a water problem, anyone in your household can turn off the water, thereby reducing the chances that your home will incur major water damage.
DIY plumbing jobs will require that you understand how to solder copper for the lines for the water supply. You can practice this skill so that you will be able to run your lines without worrying about it leaking. Search online for video tutorials that can help you get a handle on how to go about soldering.
Make sure that your tool box is ready for any project you are preparing to do. The last thing you want is to be knee deep in a job only to find that you are missing the one tool you need to finish. Be sure to have various sizes of pipe wrenches that can be used to complete any job.
If you live in an area that sees routine freezing temperatures, make sure you do something to keep your pipes from becoming frozen as well. There are a wide variety of ways you can keep your pipes from freezing, which will help you avoid damage to your home and costly repairs.
One way to avoid a common plumbing problem is to make sure never to flush anything but human waste and toilet paper down a toilet. Other things made of paper like tissues, paper towels, and the like do not dissolve the same way toilet paper does and can get stuck.
During the warm seasons, you will see that there will be many bird nests forming in and around your plumbing vent pipes. It is essential to clear these out, as they can have a devastating effect on the quality of your plumbing and the flow of water in your home.
Work with plumbers that offer flat rates. When a plumber is charging by the hour, they do not have an incentive to get the job done quickly. It is human nature to go just a little bit slower if it’ll mean extra money in our pockets. If you cannot find someone who charges per project make sure that you are vigilant in watching the clock and their work.
When searching for a good plumber you should always check references. It is easy to just go with the lowest price, but you have to do your research and make sure the plumber has a good reputation with the people they have done work for in the past so you do not get a bad plumber.
When getting an estimate from a contractor on a job, make sure to ask how long the written estimate is good for. For big jobs you usually want to get estimates from a few different plumbers. Knowing how long your estimate is valid will help you know what your time limit is for making a decision on who to hire.
Make sure that the temperature of your home’s water heater is not above 120F. On older water heaters, be sure it is not above medium settings. When temperatures get higher than 120, scalding can occur. Also, having the settings above 120F, tends to use more energy than lower temperatures do.
The key to finding a great plumber for new construction is to look at their prior jobs. Good plumbers take pride in the work they do, so they will have photos and references from previous jobs. If the plumber you are considering hiring does not have references or photos of previous jobs, then stay away and find another.
Protect you plumbing pipes! If you live in an area which has cold winters and are leaving your home for an extended amount of time, protect your plumbing while you are gone! Shut off the main water valve! Drain the system of water by opening the faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Also, make sure that you have left some heat on in the house! Set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beware of black water in your toilet tank. Chances are, the color is caused from too much magnesium or iron in your water. Although this is usually harmless, it can be annoying for some people. If it is iron or magnesium in your water, the only way to fix it is by filtering the water.
It should not be necessary to call out a professional for every repair job. If you take your time and apply sensible advice, such as what you read here, you can successfully repair many of the common faults that develop. It may take a longer the first few times, but after a few successes you will pick up speed.