6 Important Things About Plumbing Everyone Should Know About!
When everything is okay, most of us don’t really give plumbing a second thought, but when something goes wrong, oh boy, it is all we could think about all day and all night until it is fixed.
Plumbing is one of the greatest inventions in history, and it is so important in our lives. Without it, we cannot accomplish our daily and essential tasks, such as taking a shower, washing our hands, cleaning our house, flushing the toilet, getting drinking water, cooking, and more.
A basic understanding on plumbing is never a bad thing and while there are indeed a few things you can learn to do yourself, always call a trusted, licensed, professional plumbing from Fixlers when you need help.
Did you know the following 6 important things about plumbing everyone should know about?
1. Locate Your Water Mains and Learn How to Turn It Off
Locate your water mains and know how to turn them off. Also known as stop tap, stop valve or stop cock, this is the point where you can shut off the water supply to your home. In the frigid winter cold, if you have a broken heat situation you will have to know how to shut the water main and run the tap to prevent broken pipes. If you are unfortunate enough to have a burst pipe, then you will need to know how to cut off water supply to your home before the plumber arrives.
Your main shut-off valve can be located near the street, the side of the house or sometimes in the basement. It usually resembles a wheel or bar-type lever.
Once you’ve turned the water supply off, run water at a sink until it stops. If the water does not stop running at the tap, then you have not been successful. It’s always worth practicing this so that you know what to do if a crisis occurs. At the very least, you may need to show a plumber where it is one day.
2. Inspect Your Water Meter and Bill
If you have city water, there is a meter for each home individually. It will be somewhere near your property or near the street under a metal cover. Know where your water meter is and how to read it will help you monitor usage and keep your expenses down. Check the bill when it comes and compare them with previous bills, because spikes in usage can indicate a leak at your home that is unknown to you.
3. Check for Hidden Leaks
Hidden leaks in your home can damage important infrastructure like wooden beams, wall, carpet and pipes and other plumbing accessories. You can check your meter or inspect your water bills to see if there is any spike. You don’t have to wait until you think there is a problem, regular checks can help you spot problems early.
Pick a time when you will not be using water for at least 20 minutes, this includes automatic appliances such as ice makers. Then, turn off all indoor and outdoor spigots. Once you’ve done that, look at the numbers on your water meter and write them down. Wait for 20 to 30 minutes before you return and look at the meter again. If the numbers stay the same, good news, your system is fine. If the numbers are higher, then it is likely that you have a leak you can’t see. Don’t hesitate to call a FixlersPro for professional help.
4. Plunge A Toilet
Clogged toilets. Oh, it’s very annoying when it happens. But with the right tools, you need not worry. Not all plungers will work for your toilet. You can buy a toilet plunger that is specially designed with a more rounded hood or extended flange for your home. In short, a plunger uses suction to create pressure that clears the clog. You should make sure there is enough water in the bowl to cover the top of the plunger. If not, top up the water from the sink or bathtub. Put the plunger into the hole of the toilet and thrust it up and down several times. This should cause the clog to clear. Keep plunging until you hear the toilet flushing.
5. Know Your Water-Based Appliances
Know your appliance in your home that runs water: the washing machine, the dishwasher, the ice-maker in your fridge – all of it. Know how to shut off the water supply to those appliances, how to do basic maintenance if there’s a problem, and make sure you clean it regularly.
6. Unclog Sinks and Shower Drains
Clogs happen. If your sink drains too slowly and the traditional drain cleaner didn’t do the trick, you can try a natural solution of 1/2 cup of vinegar and baking soda. Mix it and pour it slowly into the drain and it should improve it. Pouring cooking grease and eggshells down the drain is never a good idea. Always wait for the fat or grease to set, pour it in a bag and throw it in the trash.
Often, the drain is clogged at the U-shaped part of the plumbing pipe. That’s the p-trap. If you drop something down the sink like jewelry and need to retrieve it, don’t run any water and follow these steps.
Step 1: Turn off water to the sink
Step 2: Place a bucket underneath the p-trap before you unscrew both sides of the U.
Step 3: Unscrew both sides of the U to clear the clog.
If you’re not confident enough to handle this, it’s always best to call a professional from Fixlers than to risk further damage!
Know When It’s Time to Call A Professional Plumber
Taking care of the plumbing in your home is a lot easier than most of us realize. Maintenance is key, and by understanding how water runs into, through and out of your home, you can quickly master a good amount of plumbing maintenance to minimize problems. And learn how to identify a serious problem in order to know when to call a professional.
If you are seeking an affordable plumbing service, whether you need a water heater installation, drain cleaning, or to replace your bathroom sink, contact us at Fixlers! Tell us what you need help with, or what needs fixing. We will get the right service and specifications to complete the job.