Every now and then, the home’s plumbing system needs some attention. Whether that’s a dripping faucet, clogged toilet, or low water pressure, minor plumbing issues can be handled by homeowners. Here are a few beginner plumbing tips for every homeowner to keep in mind.
1. Know where the shut-off valves are located.
The shut-off valve controls the entire home’s access to water. In case of a plumbing emergency, homeowners should shut off water at the main valve, which is typically located outside the home. It could also help to know the location of the sewer line access points.
2. Be careful with drilling holes or pounding nails.
Before you drill holes or pound nails into the wall, floor, or ceiling, determine if there are any supply or drainage pipes within the work area. You could use a stud finder or an endoscopic camera to look into the wall.
3. Know what’s flushable.
The toilet is not a trash can. Keep a trash receptacle in every bathroom to discourage flushing anything other than toilet paper. Even “flushable” baby wipes can cause serious clogs.
4. Never put garbage down the drain.
The kitchen garbage disposal was not designed to process coffee grounds, bacon grease, vegetable peels, or bones. Find out what food scraps can be disposed of in the garbage disposal, and which should be thrown in the trash.
5. Use a high-quality plunger.
Purchase a plunger to clear clogs in sinks, toilets, and drains. Many clogs can be dislodged with a plunger, without the need to call in a plumber.
6. Don’t ignore leaks.
Every drop of water from a leaking faucet is money going down the drain. It might seem harmless, but over days and weeks, the water waste can add up. A running toilet can waste 200 gallons per day! Get the leak fixed as soon as possible to avoid a surprise water bill and water damage.
7. Never over-tighten plumbing fittings.
Over-tightening fittings and connections could cause bolts and screws to break.
8. Keep plumber’s tape on hand.
Plumber’s tape is a great tool for sealing pipe threads and preventing leaks around joints and fittings. Keep in mind that white tape is for household plumbing projects, while yellow tape is for gas line connections.