Water’s the source of life, but can be the arch nemesis of those with plumbing problems. Except for a natural disaster, there are only a few problems which can cause more extensive damage than a plumbing issue. There are a lot of things homeowners can do to prevent serious plumbing problems and reduce the effects if they do happen.
A great maintenance routine for bathtub drains is to pour baking soda and vinegar into the drain opening once a month. Plug the drain afterwards or cover it with a washcloth, as the two chemicals are going to react with each other. Wait for a little while and then allow boiling water to go down the drain. Doing this will probably void your pipes of hair accumulations and soap scum.
The flapper valve is one of the most critical components of a toilet. Flappers need to be replaced regularly to prevent leaks. Before you replace the flapper, check to ensure that it is not a problem with the chain pressure. If the chain pressure is fine, go ahead and replace the flapper.
If you are looking into hiring a plumber, make certain you do your research first before you hire one. Some plumbers are not experienced enough or skilled enough to handle some jobs, and they can worsen your problem. Always look at plumber reviews, or ask friends and family if they can recommend one.
Avoid placing fat, grease, and other oils into your drain. Whenever they cool, they tend to harden and make clogs inside your drains. This is primarily true if you are someone who has a garbage disposal; the fats will make the blades go slower and less freely. Dispose of your oils in a coffee can or other suitable container instead of your sink.
Those valves that rarely get used have a way of fusing together. Use penetrating oil to maintain them, and make sure you turn them every once in a while.
Sometimes low pressure in water lines can be fixed just by cleaning sediment out of the aerator. Take apart the faucet, and clean the aerator with vinegar and a small brush. Finally, rinse off the aerator, put it back together and then reattach it to your faucet. Removing obstacles in aerators should improve the water pressure.
Check your toilet regularly for leaks. To check, squeeze a few food coloring drops in the toilet tank. If colored water appears in the toilet bowl, this means your toilet is leaking.
If you have pipes that are clogged, try a cleaner that is enzyme based. These will utilize natural bacteria to transform sludge into a liquid that can be removed. The enzyme cleaners typically are the best things you can find on the market.
As soon as you notice any water accumulating on the floor by your water heater, turn off the water valves. If you wait too long to shut it off then you could find yourself dealing with a small leak that turns into a larger problem, making it much harder to shut off.
Do not use a drain cleaner if you can help it. Compounds that are ingredients in common drain cleaners are quite corrosive and can cause pipe damage if overused. If you find that your drain is clogged, think about hiring a plumber to do a estimate and tell you what the issue is.
Ask your plumber to handle all your plumbing problems at once rather than calling him several times to resolve different problems. Your plumber charges for each visit, so it’s best to deal with as many problems in one visit as possible. Before making the call to a professional, assess the problems and construct a list of all issues that need tending to. The plumber can take care of all the problems at once, and you won’t have to be frequently calling him or her over.
When your flapper seat is worn out, suffering from mineral build-up, or simply not seated correctly, the water that would otherwise fill the tank up is simply running out of the tank. This causes skyrocketing water bills and extended periods before flushing. Put int a new flapper or clean the flapper seat to fix the issue.
A common problem with toilets is that sewage will on will back up and flow into the toilet. This happens because of a blockage within the branch lines that connect the main line to the sewage line. If you can’t clear the blockage yourself, contact a professional plumber, who can insert a snake into the line to break up the blockage.
Regular maintenance is of the utmost importance if you want to prevent future leaks to your faucets and sinks. Water wasted from leaks can reach 150 gallons everyday, so you should check your pipes regularly for any moisture or leaks. Regular maintenance will prevent significant wear and tear.
If you want to look for floor damage around your toilet, just check the flooring for softness. Sit reversed on the toilet (facing the tank) with your feet on the floor. Rock your weight onto each foot in turn and see if you can feel any weakness or “give” in the floor. You can wind up saving your money simply by noticing the problem early on.
Knowing how plumbing works, having a good idea of how to fix things, and keeping basic plumbing materials at hand will help avoid major plumbing problems. The savvy homeowner who takes the time to learn even a little about plumbing is better able to make good decisions while avoiding plumbing situations that could become dangerous. Indeed, those who proactively understand plumbing issues are far more likely to be able to solve a problem as soon as it occurs.