When you hire a plumber, it can cost a lot of money for even a very simple repair that you could have done yourself with some basic plumbing knowledge. Don’t waste money on professional plumbers again! Read on for some tips on solving your own plumbing problems with tools you have at home.
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.
The most important plumbing tip you need to know is — how to turn off your home’s main water supply. Once the water is shut off, you can investigate problems and figure out how to resolve them. Walk the family through the house and show them where all the water shut-off valves are, and how to use them.
When looking for a plumber, you have quite a few options. Ask friends for recommendations of who they use. Check online for plumbers with good reviews and references. Use your yellow pages and look under “Plumbing Contractors” or “Plumbing, Drain and Sewer Cleaning”. Make sure that you contact more than one plumber before making a choice.
Make sure your plumbing contractor has the proper insurance before letting them work in your home. This is a big problem with all types of construction contractors. They may have the proper licenses, but because of the high cost of insurance, they may not be properly insured and can end up on your homeowner’s policy if they get hurt.
If your pipes bang when you turn on the water, and all the pipes are anchored correctly, you should add some straps or cushion the pipes with a rubber blanket. There may be times when you will need to do both. Make sure that if you have copper pipes, you are not using galvanized straps.
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 you have an underground leak in your pipes, it is possible to detect the leak before digging. Today’s leak detection equipment is very sophisticated and modern, allowing technicians to detect and pinpoint exactly where leaks are before they go about trying to fix them with professional grade equipment for you.
Time for Winter-Proofing
You need to winter-proof your house. You have to make sure you switch of the master circuit breaker or the shut-off valve before you leave your house. Since one small hole or congested water can quickly freeze and cause pipes to break and expand, you need to drain and open all outdoor and household water lines.
Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem that no-one wants, so plan now to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the exterior water shut-off valve located inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water that has collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside, so they don’t crack from the cold weather.
Water Heater Reminders
Drain the sediment from the bottom of your hot water heater twice a year to keep the hot water heater working at its optimal levels. Simply open the drain valve and allow the water to run out into a bucket until the water runs clear. Then close the drain valve.
Set the temperature on your hot water heater to a temperature that does not exceed 120 degrees. This helps to save energy and prevents the water from becoming too hot and potentially scalding someone in your household. Older models that do not have a temperature setting should be set on Medium.
Your water heater works more during the fall and winter so make sure that you eliminate all sediment buildup around this piece of equipment. Flushing this device can lead to increased longevity so that you do not face plumbing problems during the winter. This precaution will save time, money and effort.
Avoid using harsh chemicals to clear clogged drains by purchasing a hand-held manual auger. A drain auger is a one-time purchase as opposed to purchasing a new bottle every time a drain is clogged. This is especially helpful for people who deal with clogged drains often, such as people with long hair or kids who like to drop things down the drain.
The toilet should never be leaking, so make sure. An easy way to determine this is to add a couple drops of food coloring into the toilet tank. If you then see the colors show up in the bowl right away, you can be assured that there is an issue that should be addressed.
As you read in the beginning of this article. Professional-plumbing services are costly, and many plumbing problems can be solved by anyone who knows what needs to be done. Hopefully, this article has given you the knowledge to avoid an expensive call to a professional plumbing service in the future.