Becoming a homeowner is everyone’s dream. Now you have the freedom to do anything you want to your place and you don’t have to pay someone else for the roof above your head. But we all know the saying, with great power, comes great responsibility.
When you are a homeowner, you have to be ready to fix at least some things around the house or be prepared to spend a lot of money calling the professionals all the time. It’s important to know when you can fix something on your own and when trying to fix things will lead to a bigger disaster.
Unfortunately, homeowners don’t usually have the necessary skills for DIY plumbing jobs and they run to the professionals when they are dealing with a clogged pipe, a dripping faucet or low water pressure. Before doing that, here are some basic plumbing tips that will help you next time you need to fix something in your home.
Don’t puncture pipes
If you are planning on doing some remodeling in your house make sure you know where the pipes are located. If you are drilling the walls, changing the floors or doing anything that involves holes in the walls, ceiling or floor, find out where the supply or drainage pipes are. You can do this with an endoscopic camera or an inexpensive stud finder. If you puncture a pipe, you will need to replace or fix it as soon as possible.
Always check for leaks
After every DIY plumbing project you have, you need to check for leaks. This is what the professionals do as well. The process is – run water through the system then open and close all the valves and drains. This way you will be able to notice even the smallest leaks and it will save you a lot of time and money in the future.
Never over-tighten fittings
A lot of people make the same mistake by over-tightening fittings. Remember the rule, hand tight is just right. You don’t want to over-tighten the fittings because that leads to stripped screws and broken bolts. But also make sure they are not too loose.
Use plumber’s tape
Teflon tape or plumber’s tape is used to prevent leaks and to seal pipe threads. Wrap the tape three times before sealing. You should also know that white tape is designed for home DIY’s and yellow is for gas line connections. There are some situations where you can fix and repair things on your own, and sometimes you need to call the professionals. For emergency plumbing issues, it’s better to contact people who know what they are doing. The guys from Emergency Plumbers are your best bet when it comes to emergency plumbers.
Don’t ignore leaks
If your faucets are constantly leaking it means that there’s something wrong with the pipes. The constant dripping you’re hearing is the money going down the drain. There are researches that show a leaky faucet wastes about 8 gallons of water per day and a leaky toilet wastes more than 200 gallons of water per day! Fix the small leaks before they turn into expensive problems.
Use the plunge
One of the smartest things you can do for your home is investing in a high-quality plunge. If you want to clean your sink to push the water out before removing the trap. You should also know that there are different kinds of plunges, one is for the sink and the other is for the toilet. Make sure you find out the difference and that you use the correct one when cleaning the sink and/or the toilet.
Don’t put garbage down the drain
There are a lot of things you should not put down the drain. This covers everything between vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, bacon grease, starchy foods like rice and potatoes and food debris. These things will most certainly clog the pipes. When installing a garbage disposal system, read the instructions carefully so you know what you can put down the drain and what you should just throw away in the trash can.
Find out what’s flushable
A lot of people use the toilet as a garbage bin. This is a huge no-no! Everything except toilet paper is not flushable. You should always remember that. So, forget about flushing the makeup wipes, the baby wipes and the Q-tips. Even if it says on the package that something is flushable, save the trouble of clogging the pipes and use the trash can.
Learn the location of shut-off valves
When you move into a new home make sure that you get the blueprints and learn where the main shut-off valves are. Houses usually have shut-off valves that are located just outside the house and apartments usually share the same main valves with the rest of the building. You need this information when you conduct periodic cleanouts.
Use the vacuum cleaner
Learn when it’s smart to use the plumber and when you should use the vacuum. Sometimes it’s better to use the vacuum cleaner, especially when it comes to removing hard objects like toothbrushes, combs or children’s toys. Make sure you use a wet-dry vacuum and use it correctly. If you are not sure if your vacuum cleaner can be used like this, it’s better to call emergency plumbers than to risk breaking your vacuum and getting yourself electrocuted.
If you decide to fix things on your own, you need to do good research first. Always be prepared for the worst to happen and don’t just rely on watching your friend’s dad doing the same thing once. There are a lot of video tutorials available these days that will help you fix your plumbing in no time.
However, if you are unsure about what to do or if it seems like it’s too complicated for you to do it on your own, it’s better to contact the professionals. Sometimes spending a bit of money will save you a lot of cash in the long run, so don’t make the mistake of trying to fix everything on your own. Good luck and don’t get too upset if sometimes things don’t look correct right away.