Have you ever had a plumbing problem just throw off your entire day? One minute you’re sipping tea, but the next your faucet is leaking uncontrollably or the sink is clogged, causing you to understandably panic.
For some people, calling the plumber immediately, even for minor problems may be the best thing to do, especially if they don’t know how to troubleshoot simple plumbing problems.
Fortunately, common plumbing problems have become easy to fix thanks to instructional blogs and videos. If you want to know some tips that may come in handy when your faucet starts to leak or your drain gets clogged, then read on.
1. Know where the main water shut-off valve is located
Knowing where the main water shut-off valve is the probably single, most-important thing that can help you in case of water leaks. A small leak can easily get out of hand and become a big problem. If uncontrolled, water can flood your home.
When this happens, you can turn off the main water valve, while waiting for the plumber. This saves money as it prevents further water damage to your home.
2. Use a snake instead of a liquid drain cleaner
Liquid drain cleaners may cause damage to pipes because of their concoction of toxic chemicals. Instead of using harmful liquid cleaners, use a snake to clear clogs.
If your pipes are made of PVC, a liquid drain cleaner may create a chemical reaction that can create heat and irreparably damage your pipes. A chemical drain cleaner may be cheap but the damage and the subsequently needed repairs are not cheap.
Not only can drain cleaners destroy your pipes, but they can injure you or others. Such cleaners are harmful to the skin, irritate the eyes, and may even cause suffocation due to the dangerous fumes they may emit.
3. Take care in using your toilet
Avoid flushing nappies, plastic in any form, menstrual products, or other waste down the toilet. They could get caught in the angular section of your pipes and lead to clogs. When this happens, you can try using a plunger to push down the clog, or you may need to use your snake.
4. Avoid putting garbage down the drain
The most common causes of clogged drains are food debris such as bread, pasta, rice, coffee grounds, bacon grease, and vegetable peel. Avoid throwing food particles like in the sink to avoid clogging your drain. Follow the recommendations in the garbage disposal user guide to ensure the proper functioning of the unit and never put hot oil or grease down your drain or garbage disposal.
5. Research and then try to fix a pipe on your own
If it’s a leaky seal, turn off the main water valve then open the tap to drain the remaining water from the pipe. Unscrew the handle then unscrew the flange. The next steps are to remove the tap bonnet and the spindle. Check if the washer, O-ring, or the jumper valve is worn out. Replace the worn-out part and return the spindle, tap bonnet, flange, and the handle.
If you’re unsure which part needs replacing, you can take them to the hardware store so the staff can help you choose which one to buy and use as a replacement for the worn-out part.
Home ownership comes with a myriad of responsibilities, unlike living in a rental where you can call the landlord to fix plumbing problems. As a homeowner though, you can rely on yourself to do easy repairs, with the necessary knowledge in hand. Knowing these simple plumbing hacks can save you money and give you some peace of mind in an emergency. Of course, if the plumbing issues are more serious, it is definitely best to call up a professional.