Professional plumbing is often a very expensive service, and usually the work that is done is something that any homeowner could solve fairly easily with the proper knowledge and tools. If you’d like to start learning to solve your own plumbing problems, read on to see what you can do.
When choosing a plumber make sure he is insured and licensed. This is very important. If there is a plumbing emergency, you want to make sure the plumber has met the training requirements of the state. If he is insured, this covers any accidental damage done while fixing your plumbing.
Before you start a plumbing project you should tighten all of the pipes that are easily accessible. Especially if your pipes are making a range of loud banging sounds, as this is a clear sign that there are loose pipes along the line. It is also a good idea in case there is a clog so the excess pressure released does not break a loose pipe.
On very cold winter nights, allow your faucets to trickle slightly, especially if your pipes are located in a crawlspace. The running water prevents the pipes from freezing as quickly as they would otherwise. You can catch the water and use it for other household needs to prevent wasting it.
Look closely at your toilets several times throughout the year. Check to see if there are any leaks that you may not have noticed; you can do this by placing five or six drops of food coloring in the tank. If there is a leak, the color will seep into the bowl within half an hour. This process will help you catch a small problem before it gets too out of control.
Use your garbage disposal with the cold water running so that you can preserve the blades of the disposal. Using hot water makes grease more liquid and can cause problems, including clogs. Make sure to clean blades by putting in a little dish detergent and run cold water at the same time.
Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem that no-one wants, so plan now to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the exterior water shut-off valve located inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water that has collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside so they don’t crack from the cold weather.
It is not always necessary to call in a plumber when you have a damaged section of pipe in your plumbing. There are repair kits you can buy in your local hardware store which are excellent in repairing leaks. If you have a small leak, you can rub a compound stick over the hole or crack in the pipe to seal it shut. Epoxy paste is also an excellent remedy for a leaking pipes. Make sure you turn off the water and completely dry the pipe before applying the epoxy.
As you can see, plumbing isn’t as difficult as you may have believed. Many plumbing problems can be solved easily with things on hand, or with a few inexpensive parts. Next time you have a problem with your plumbing, try using the tips in this article to solve it yourself!