Things You Can Do Around The Home To Maintain Your Plumbing
As with anything, plumbing can be quite complex. This article is filled with great do-it-yourself plumbing advice that, if followed properly, will save you from lots of aggravation.
If your pipes bang when you turn on the water, and all the pipes are anchored correctly, you should add some straps or cushion the pipes with a rubber blanket. There may be times when you will need to do both. Make sure that if you have copper pipes, you are not using galvanized straps.
To winterize a house that will sit unused during the winter months, you must completely drain all of the pipes. After turning off the main water supply, let all of the water drain from the faucets, toilets, and water heater (turn off the gas). Add a quart of antifreeze to sinks and the tub to prevent water from freezing in the drain trap.
Periodically check your pipes for leaks and cracks. These can be forgotten, since pipes are usually hidden away, but checking for leaks and cracks can help you identify a small problem before a big problem occurs. You may have to enlist the help of a family member to turn on and off the water stream as you are checking.
Set the temperature on your hot water heater to a temperature that does not exceed 120 degrees. This helps to save energy and prevents the water from becoming too hot and potentially scalding someone in your household. Older models that do not have a temperature setting should be set on Medium.
Do not, under any circumstances, put lemons down your disposal. Although the lemon smell will give your disposal a great smell, its acid can corrode the metal parts in it. Instead, use products that are made specifically for this use. You can purchase these products at most hardware stores or wherever cleaning products are sold.
Cover pipes that are outside or in cool areas. Use heat tape to make sure that the pipes are completely covered and insulated. This will prevent frozen pipes in the winter, which can be an expensive problem. Check outdoor pipes for other problems such as leaks and cracks which are better to catch early.
Periodically, make sure that the sump pump in your house is working to full capacity. Pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit, and your pump should drain that water out with minimal issues. Checking that your devices are working throughout the year can pay large dividends in the event of a crisis.
Do a routine check around your house each month on each and every faucet to make sure there are no signs of leaks or drips. Over time, leaks can add a lot of money to your water bill and will worsen if you do not take care of the problem.
During the winter months, your water heater works the hardest. To keep it in optimum condition, flush it out before winter arrives. Flushing the system helps remove the sediment buildup, which causes internal corrosion of your water heater, shortens its lifespan, and reduces heating efficiency. Connect a hose to the faucet near the bottom of the tank and drain several gallons by directing the water into a nearby drain.
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.
As you can see, plumbing isn’t so scary when you know what to do. Follow the tips you’ve read here next time you have a problem with your plumbing, and soon your problem will be solved, all without having to call an expensive plumber to fix the problem for you.