Plumbing can be very intimidating to someone that has never done it before. It can easily lead to a bit of information overload because of all of the resources available to new plumbers. Below are some tips to assist you in getting all of this information organized to where you can start plumbing correctly.
If your pipes are prone to freezing, let the water trickle continuously in at least one faucet during weather that is below freezing. This will minimize the chances that the pipes will freeze and leave you without water. If water is continually running through the pipes and trickling out of a faucet, the pipes are less likely to freeze.
To avoid having your outdoor faucets freeze up in the winter, detach all hoses before the first freeze. Also, close the shutoff valve that leads to the outdoor faucets, then turn on the outdoor faucets to let any remaining water in the lines drain. Once temperatures warm up in the spring, you can reverse the process.
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 it with a store-bought patching kit. One method involves applying waterproof tape to the section of the 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.
Check your fixtures to ensure the overflow holes are clear of debris and mineral build-up. Overflow holes catch the excess water from an overflowing sink. They may not sound like a matter of great importance until you actually need them. Take the time to clean out the overflow holes as you go through your house doing your regular checks for various issues.
Make sure that you disconnect all hoses outside your house when the fall season hits. This is important to reduce the chance of freezing, which can cause damage to the connecting pipes. Disconnect all of your water hoses and store them safely to put your family in the best position for the fall.
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 heat less efficiently.
Before the cold season hits, check out the condition of the gutters on the roof of your house. Remove all debris, leaves, and branches so that you can have a smooth flow of water and easy drainage. Caretaking in advance will help to prevent serious issues with plumbing down the road.
One costly plumbing repair is frozen pipes. They can generally be prevented, though. Insulate the pipes that run outside with proper material. When it gets colder, disconnect and drain the hoses and turn the outside faucet off. Making sure that all of this is done will have you a lot of money in plumbing bills.
If the pipes have burst in an upstairs area, use a tool to perforate the ceiling underneath in several places and places pots and pans under to catch the water. If this is not done, the weight of the accumulating water could cause a collapse of the entire ceiling.
When leaving on vacation or leaving your vacation home, be sure to turn off the main water before you leave. If something happens while you are gone you can cause some serious damage from a flooded basement or a broken pipe in the wall that leaks for weeks until you return.
To prevent the most common kitchen sink clogs, avoid putting any sort of solid foods down your drain. Many foods, such as eggs and vegetable and fruit waste actually harden with exposure to cold water and over time can form clogs that are next to impossible to remove without professional help.
When trying to unclog drains, never use any chemical drain openers. These chemicals are caustic and can actually burn you if they come in contact with your skin. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and gloves if you have to use these chemicals.
An important plumbing-related decision that must be made these days is the choice between an electric water heater or a gas water heater. In these times with gas costing as much as it does, it is more cost-efficient to buy an electric water heater, especially if you have a smaller water heater.
Hopefully, these tips have provided you with some very valuable information, as well as giving you a way to organize all of the thoughts and information you may have already had on plumbing. Keeping these tips in mind when you start plumbing can help you to become a very good plumber.