Maintaining and repairing your own plumbing is an essential part of home improvement, but understanding it and buying the right equipment can be tricky. There are lots of things to consider for your particular plumbing job. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get started with your own plumbing jobs.
Before starting any plumbing project be sure to turn off the main water supply. Water damage can be one of the most expensive things to repair. To minimize damage turn the main water supply off as well as any shut off valves near where you are working. This will save a great deal of hardship later on.
Avoid frozen pipes this winter! Keep a small trickle of water dripping from faucets, and wrap your uninsulated pipes with foam or newspaper. If possible, keep the doors open between unheated and heated rooms. In an unheated area such as a garage or laundry room, keep a small heater next to the pipes. Remember to do this before the first cold snap hits.
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.
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.
If a plumbing project is in your future, know two things: what tools you have, and how you are supposed to use them. Make sure to read all of your manuals, and use things such as the library and the internet to read up on do it yourself projects. Think ahead and learn everything you can before tackling a plumbing repair project. If you make things worse rather than better, you’ll have to pay expensive plumbing fees to fix the problems.
Check how well your toilets are flushing. If the handle needs to be played with in order to keep the water from running constantly, or if it needs to be held down several times in order to flush, you may need to switch out some of the parts in your tank. This is not expensive, and it could help reduce your monthly water bill. It could also mean that you avoid the embarrassment of the flushing system breaking when you have visitors!
If you have a well at your home and notice pink or orange stains around the drains of your tub or sink, this is most likely caused by an excess of iron in your water. You can use water softener that you buy at the store to remedy this situation, or you can have a professional do it for you.
You should drain all of the water out of the tank of your hot water heater at least once every three to six months. Draining all of the water out of the tank helps to prevent sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank. This sediment can cause the tank to bang or to heat less efficiently.
As you read, plumbing can be an incredibly important aspect to your current and future home improvement and so is understanding all the different techniques and equipment. This is so it makes it easier for you to understand what you need for your plumbing jobs. Following the tips in this article is a very good starting place.