Water may be needed to live, though it can be the cause of frustration for anyone that is dealing with a plumbing issue. Except for a natural disaster, there are only a few problems which can cause more extensive damage than a plumbing issue. Fortunately, homeowners can take a lot of steps to prevent plumbing nightmares and to minimize the effects when they occur.
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.
If a pipe ever freezes, you need to make sure to shut off the water. This will keep the pipe from bursting and causing you major damage to your home. Make sure to shut the water off at the main valve, and then open the faucet that is closest to the frozen pipe so it can drain while it is thawing out.
Don’t be afraid to call a professional. Don’t take on jobs to save money, if you aren’t sure how to fix them. Calling a professional plumber saves you money, the experience and know-how can fix your problem sooner and with less fuss.
Having your septic tank pumped out on a regular basis will keep it functioning properly. Doing this prevents any sediment from getting built up within the tank, which causes a backup in your home or causes your entire septic system to fail. If the cost of pumping your septic tank seems a bit steep, remember that the cost of cleanup and repair of a failed septic system will be much higher.
To avoid having your outdoor faucets freeze up in the winter, detach all hoses before the first freeze. Also, close the shutoff valve that leads to the outdoor faucets, then turn on the outdoor faucets to let any remaining water in the lines drain. Once temperatures warm up in the spring, you can reverse the process.
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.
Unclog drains with ease. Try using a plunger and drain cleaner, as your clog may simply be a build-up of hair and debris. If this doesn’t work you may have to clear the drain with a snake. Feed the snake into the drain line as far as it will go. Turn the crank gently, which will help to loosen the clog. Remove the snake, and run water down the drain to see if the clog has been removed. You may have to use the snake a couple of times, before the clog is cleared so don’t give up!
Making sure you know all of your problems so you can have them fixed by one plumber visit is very beneficial. Having them all fixed in one visit takes a lot of money off of your bill because you don’t have to pay for the visit multiple times so make sure you make a list first.
You can check your toilet for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring, Kool Aid or some coffee grounds to the water in the toilet’s tank (not the water in the bowl). Check the water in the bowl after a half hour or so. If any of the coloring agent is visible in the water in the bowl, the tank is leaking, and you will have to have it repaired.
One way to prevent pipes from freezing during the winter is to keep cabinet doors in your house that contain the pipes open. This can insure that they get adequate heat to keep warm. Make sure also, to unhook and kind of hose outside and run a little water to clear the pipes of any remaining water going outside.
Make sure to clean your dryer’s lint trap. This is a good idea for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is fire safety. Be sure you inspect your lint trap for tears or holes that could mean lint is going into your pipes, which can cause clogs and issues.
If you have drains in your house that have not been used for a long period of time, pour one gallon of water through them to keep them functional. Furthermore, this will have the added benefit of reducing any odors from entering your house from lack of use during the year.
The keys to avoiding plumbing problems is great preparation and education. The homeowners who educate themselves about plumbing are more prone to make better decisions regarding plumbing issues. Keep the above tips in mind to be better prepared to quickly fix any plumbing problems that do arise.