If you’re a home owner unfamiliar with plumbing, you’re probably familiar with the experience of being charged an arm and a leg for what seems like a simple plumbing repair. If you’d like to avoid this experience again, read on for some advice and tips on how to fix your own plumbing.
Rigid copper is used for main water lines in many homes. You cannot bend rigid copper, so joints and tees must be soldered on. When soldering, always apply flux (also called soldering paste) to both surfaces. Flux retards oxidation when the copper is heated. Always use lead-free or nearly lead-free solder when sweating a copper joint.
If you are paying someone else to do the plumbing in your home be sure that they are licensed in your state to do that work. Some people who have little or no knowledge of plumbing will try to pass themselves off as a pro. So you can see the importance of checking to see if your plumber is licensed. You should also see if you can find positive testimonials about the plumbers work.
Water hammer problems, pipe noise due to water hitting the back of the pipe, can be easily repaired. Exposed pipes will have to be anchored. You may need to hire a professional to help with any projects involving pipes that are hidden in the floors, ceiling or walls.
Act quickly if your pipes freeze! Shut off the water and open the faucet, enabling it to drain when it thaws. Starting with the faucet, and working your way to the iced-up area, aim a propane torch or hairdryer at the pipe – this will quickly defrost it. You could also wrap the pipe in a heating pad or aim a heat lamp at it, but this will take quite some time. A last resort is to wrap the pipe in rags and pour boiling water over it.
When starting a plumbing project that is due to loud noises in your pipes empty the pipes first. This can be an easy fix to an other wise wasted huge job. Just close the main water line and open the facets throughout the house. After the water has stopped flowing turn the water on from the main source and check to see if the noise is eliminated.
If your toilet is slow to flush, add some white vinegar to the overflow tube. White vinegar helps the water from your tank to flow quickly, which will make the toilet flush faster. It is recommended that you use about a quart of the vinegar and let it stay there for at least an hour before flushing.
Find a better way to discard of cooking oil instead of pouring it down the drain where it can easily clog your pipes. Keep a coffee can or other metal container handy to pour grease into after cooking. Place the can in the freezer to harden the grease and when it’s full, discard it with the trash.
Do not put your hand in the garbage disposal to remove a clog. This can be potentially harmful. Always use tongs to get out whatever is stuck in the disposal. Using tongs is much safer, and you will make sure your hand does not get cut on the disposer’s sharp blades.
Keep your bathtub drain running well by pouring a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain each month. Put a rag over the drain afterward, though, to keep the chemicals from coming back up after the reaction. Flush it with boiling water after a few minutes. This method clears out soap scum buildup and accumulated hair that gets caught in the pipes.
When you wash your hands, be sure that you have not left any soap on the faucet handles. What people do not know is that leaving soap on these fixtures can cause fixtures to corrode. Just take two seconds after you are done washing your hands to remove excess soap from the handles.
Plumbing isn’t as hard as it can seem, when you have access to good information and advice about how to go about solving your own plumbing problems. Next time you have plumbing problems in your house, try applying the tips from this article and see if you can save some money by solving it yourself!