A collection of tips on how to be successful at plumbing makes the perfect starting point for a beginner. Below is just such a collection that will hopefully assist the eager novice into eventually becoming a pro when it comes to plumbing.
Avoid using hard cleaners on your toilets, such as drop-in cleaner tabs in the tank. When these tabs are almost completely dissolved, what’s left of the tab gets washed into the bowl. This can then end up clogging the toilet’s port holes, preventing the toilet from flushing properly. It can take months for this debris to finish dissolving in those holes.
Got a leaky pipe? In many cases you can repair this yourself without the expense of a plumber. If a joint is leaking, tighten it with a pipe wrench. If the leak is coming from a damaged section of pipe, you can try repairing with a store-bought patching kit. One method involves applying waterproof tape to the section of pipe where there is leakage. Before applying the tape, make sure the pipe is thoroughly dry. Make sure that the tape covers two to three inches on either side of the breakage in the pipe.
If your sewer is backed up, there are things you can do to troubleshoot and clean, including renting equipment like a main line cable. However, often times this does not fully take care of the problem. A professional needs to assess the issue then, using a camera method, and thoroughly cleaning the main line.
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.
In any DIY plumbing project, make sure that you always test the drains and the supply lines before you close up the walls. It is a lot easier to find and solve problems if you look for them while you are still in the process of actively doing the job.
Never hire a plumber that is not licensed, insured and bonded. If the plumbing company cannot provide you with reference numbers for their credentials, move on quickly. It is a common question and it should be a no-brainer for them to provide them to you. If they have issues with you asking, take that as a big red flag.
Work with plumbers that offer flat rates. When a plumber is charging by the hour, they do not have an incentive to get the job done quickly. It is human nature to go just a little bit slower if it’ll mean extra money in our pockets. If you cannot find someone who charges per project make sure that you are vigilant in watching the clock and their work.
Before the cold weather hits, check any outside faucets for leaks or drips. You will have to fix this potential problem before freezing temperatures come. Frozen water will back up in your pipes and crack them, whether they are PVC, copper, or even steel. Even a tiny crack can leak enough water to flood your home.
Have a specific plumber in mind before you have an emergency. Most people don’t think about plumbers until they find themselves having a big problem that needs to be fixed right away. Instead, choose a plumber who you are comfortable with and whose experience you trust–way before you actually need his services.
If you find that your pipes have frozen during the cold winter months open all the faucets in your home. This lowers the water pressure for when the pipes thaw and the water is freely flowing again. Make sure to open all the faucets not just those that are frequently used.
Protect you plumbing pipes! If you live in an area which has cold winters and are leaving your home for an extended amount of time, protect your plumbing while you are gone! Shut off the main water valve! Drain the system of water by opening the faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Also, make sure that you have left some heat on in the house! Set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a product like BioBen if you are planning to leave your system shut off for a few weeks. Water will still remain in the pipes and could start smelling because it is not moving. This type of product will keep the water from stagnating and from smelling too bad.
Well, hopefully the aforementioned collection of tips were enough to give you a great start on what to do and expect when it comes to maintaining your own plumbing. This collection was carefully constructed to be an aid in your arsenal so that you can begin to hone your plumbing skills into having a great plumbing system.