Plumber fixing white sink pipe with an adjustable wrench.

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 in eventually becoming a pro when it comes to plumbing.

Before starting any plumbing project on your own be sure to do a great deal of research. There are many resources available to assist you in understanding your plumbing system and help you to avoid many common mistakes made by do-it-yourself novices. Reading about other people’s mistakes can make the difference between saving or losing money.

Solder with safety in mind. When you solder a copper pipe you want to direct the flame on the copper pipe. The flame of the torch has to be four inches away from the piping. The flame should be targeted directly at the point where the copper piping needs to be disconnected.

If you discover a frozen water pipe, turn on a nearby faucet so that thawed ice has a place to go. By doing this, the pipe pressure is relieved, and this should stop it from bursting, which would prevent further home damage.

Check for floor damage around your toilet. If the floor around your toilet feels softer than the rest of the floor in your bathroom, there’s damage you need to address. Sit on your toilet and sway across both feet to feel if there are any spots less firm than the others. You can save money by noticing and treating this problem as early as possible.

Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut-off valve is and that they know how to work it. That way, if there is a water problem, anyone in your household can turn off the water, thereby reducing the chances that your home will incur major water damage.

Always keep your garbage disposal clean. You can do this in many ways. Pour some dish soap in and let the disposal run for a few minutes with some cold water. Be sure to run it regularly, if not, it can cause rust. To eliminate foul odors, grind lemon or other citrus peels. You can clean the walls of the disposal by grinding small fruit pits or eggshells.

Find out the plumbing codes in your local area before starting any project. Plumbing codes can vary wildly from area to area and you don’t want to run afoul of the codes. Visit your local building department to find out information or hire a plumber for a day to help you go over your plans and provide advice.

You can remove unsightly mineral buildup from your shower head by soaking it in vinegar overnight. This loosens the deposits, and in the morning you only need to wipe off the residue with a rag. If your shower head is high up and not removable, place vinegar in a plastic bag, slip the bag over the showerhead, and hold it in place with a twist tie.

You may not have a choice when selecting a plumber for your residence, but you can look them up and view their credentials. Your insurance provider may contract with a specific plumber; if you are knowledgeable about the company’s past jobs and client reviews, you will be more prepared.

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.

It is important to know the location of the valve that cuts off water in your house. It is likely very close to your water meter. Fixtures, such as toilets and sinks, may also have individual shut-off valves. Make sure every family member knows how to find these valves, and turn them off.

Beware of black water in your toilet tank. Chances are, the color is caused by too much magnesium or iron in your water. Although this is usually harmless, it can be annoying for some people. If it is iron or magnesium in your water, the only way to fix it is by filtering the water.

To make sure your sump pump will run in an emergency, routinely test it by adding several buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on, remove the water and turn off with ease. Do this regularly, especially if your sump pump doesn’t run that often, to ensure it will work when needed most.

Well, hopefully, the aforementioned collection of tips was 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.