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21+ DIY Plumbing Tips for Homeowners
- Published: Sep 14/2018
- Last update: May 25/2022
- 12min read
- Views: 780
If you’re a homeowner, then you want your house to always be in working order. One of the most important parts of your household is its pipe system. Plumbing problems not only ruin your day but depending on their severity, their repair could take several days or even weeks. To avoid this, and to learn how to fix small plumbing issues, keep reading. The Fantastic Services team has prepared this handy guide of plumbing tips for homeowners that will make your life easier.
You’ll find this article helpful if you:
If your water pipes take damages because of blockage, or unexpected low temperatures, you will be plagued by a lot of problems that your household could go without. Some of them include:
Don’t jump straight to chemical drain cleaners. If you have a broken drain, you might be tempted to buy a commercial cleaner from the local store. Professionals recommend trying a manual repair first. For this, you need the right plumbing tools.
Underground drain pipes are the pipes that reside under your house and go under the concrete slab of your basement and through your yard. A long pipeline connects the waste drain of your house to the city sewers, so as you have probably already thought – you’ll experience serious troubles if something were to happen to the underground drain pipe. Unfortunately, accidents do happen for various reasons, and in these cases, we highly advise for any homeowner to call a professional. If you’re interested in how the repair procedure goes, check our article on fixing an underground drain pipe. Here is more information about underground drain pipework.
Cutting the water supply to your pipes is the first step to effective flood prevention. For this purpose, you will need to know where all your shutoff valves (or stopcocks) are. If you’re moving into a new house, this should be one of the first things to find out. The same rule applies if you’re renting a house, after all, accidents happen. Some shutoff valves could be located outside of the house, but you’d most probably find them in your kitchen and/or bathroom.
If you’re doing a renovation and you’re a DIY enthusiast who likes to do everything on their own, be sure to learn the position of your pipes. If you intend to drill in the walls, floors and/or ceilings, the last thing you want is to puncture a pipe and start an avalanche of household damages. A stud finder is a tool that can help you with this. And, additionally, you can invest in an endoscopic camera.
If you want to avoid pipe blockages at all costs, the first thing you need to pay attention to is the stuff you flush down the toilet. Don’t trust the “flushable” sign on the household packages. Even “flushable” baby wipes have been the culprit of nasty clogs. So, make sure nothing but toilet paper goes down the toilet.
The other most common way to clog your pipes is through the kitchen sink. It’s impossible to completely prevent food waste from getting into your pipes, but you can reduce their amount to a minimum. For this, make sure to clear your plates and bowls from food particles as much as possible before washing them in the sink.
Water pressure can tell you a lot about the general condition of your pipes. Lower water pressure is often associated with leaky faucets, clogged aerators, or a blockage. These are all basic problems that any homeowner should be able to fix. Understanding the water pressure at home will also make dealing with your Saniflo system a lot easier. Keep reading to find out how, or check our article on testing water pressure for more information.
One of the most common reasons for ruptured pipes, besides blockage, is freezing temperatures. If winter temperatures fall below zero, there’s a possibility for the water in your pipes to freeze, create a blockage and ultimately damage the pipe, no matter of its composition. In the end, the elements are your most difficult enemy. That’s why many homeowners invest in pipe insulation which protects them from sub-zero temperatures. This isn’t a small project, so consult with a professional.
Have a professional check your plumbing system at least once every two years. Of course, different technicians will tell you about different schedules. Many will insist that you need more frequent inspections, which mainly depends on the age of your plumbing system, as well as the change of the year-round weather. The decision is up to you, but bear in mind that inspections are the best way to prevent an issue before it has created a flooding disaster. Check this post to learn how much plumbers charge for labour and materials.
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Water appliances are the outer nozzle of every piping system. If you wish to save some money from repairs or replacement, especially for crucial ones like the washing machine, or the dishwasher, here’s what you can do:
A running toilet is one of the most common plumbing issues. It’s easy to fix even for someone with no plumbing knowledge. It’s enough to open the toilet tank and thinker with the simple mechanism. You may need to replace a damaged part. Check out our article on fixing a running toilet tank for more on the matter.
If you’re buying a new appliance, like a washing machine, or a dishwasher, you’ll need to know how to properly fit it and test it afterwards. In terms of installation, washing machines and dishwashers have many similarities. Check our guides on how to plumb in a washing machine and how to fit a dishwasher for more information.
A leaky faucet is another very common and simple to fix the plumbing issue. It can be an indicator of low water pressure, which is why you should check your water pressure metre first. If not, then the problem is the fixture itself. You can either fix it with plumber’s tape. Or if you don’t like how it looks, you can always replace the part by buying a new one from your local hardware store.
The most common reason for leaky fixtures is over-tightening the screws and connections, which leads to broken bolts and stripped screws. The same goes for hot and cold water faucets. If you have the bad habit of securing them too tightly, just don’t.
Sinks can clog, no matter how careful we are not to let any food particles get inside. Cooking oils sediment into the inner walls of the pipes, catch debris, and it’s only a matter of time before they create a blockage. There are three ways to unclog a sink drain and all of them are fairly easy – by plunging, by opening the p-trap, or by using a drain snake. If you wish to learn how to use all three methods, check out our post on unclogging a drain.
It might sound strange, but a wet-dry vacuum is proven to be a very useful tool if your sink drain has been clogged by accidentally dropping a small hard object in it – a child’s toy, toothbrush, comb, etc. Plungers are useful for dislodging a clog, but they end up letting the waste go further down the drain. So, an effective way to get your item back is to suck it with a vacuum.
Fixtures and appliances should be regularly checked for leaks. This includes your faucets, showerheads, refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers (including the hoses), water heaters and more. Anything that uses water is vulnerable to leaks. The quicker you spot a problem, the easier you can fix it.
A household heating system should always be in working order – you owe this to yourself and your family members. Can you imagine having to do serious repairs to your heating system in mid-winter? If you don’t want to deal with this nightmare, here are a few tips that would prolong the life of your boilers and radiators:
If you own a water heating system, you need a boiler that can last you for a long time. There are different types depending on your house and the needs of your household. There’s a lot to choose from, so check out our article about choosing a new boiler. And, once you have your boiler, make sure to learn to know how to maintain it properly.
Invest in additional insulation of your boiler. Just like with pipe insulation, this will not only protect your boiler from subzero temperatures (especially if your boiler is in a non-heated room), but it will also keep the water hot for longer periods. Another way to make your heating system more efficient is to drain the water from your radiators every 3 months in order to get rid of any sediments. You can also add central heating inhibitor to your system to prevent the build-up of sludge. And don’t forget to keep your radiators’ parts, such as the valves, in good shape.
If your water heating system is noisier than usual, the most common reasons are either the boiler or the pump. Don’t ignore either and inspect them as soon as possible. Both might be an indicator of a serious problem that should be looked at by a professional. Read the following articles for more information.
The pilot light of your boiler can end up going out for no particular reason. This is a common issue in many households, and people tend to ignore it since it doesn’t affect the efficiency of the heating system. The reason this happens is usually a small electrical issue in the mechanism. In most cases it’s harmless, but it’s still not advisable to neglect an electrical issue on a water system for long periods of time.
Every house is different, and every homeowner decides for themselves whether they need their heating to be on at all times or not. There are a few factors that play a role in the overall efficiency of this decision. To find out which is the right one for you, check out the following post covering the topic:
Powerflushing is a cleansing procedure that cleans up the pipes of your heating system from dirt, sediments and other debris. It’s an important part of the maintenance of your home heating system. That’s why it’s recommended to let a professional execute this process, but as a homeowner, you should know when your heating system needs a powerflush. For more information, check out our blog post on the importance of a powerflush.
Pipes are easy to maintain if you know the most common plumbing tips for preventing plumbing issues. However, if you’ve neglected the state of your piping system for a long time, it can surprise you with a big problem out of nowhere, followed by a serious repair. Should something unfortunate like a broken, or clogged pipe occur in your property, call a professional plumber immediately.
Prevention is your best bet to avoid plumbing mistakes and if you know the right plumbing tips and tricks, your piping system will have a long and healthy life. As a responsible homeowner, you owe yourself and your family clean water, working pipes, and no flooding issues.
Have you ever experienced any plumbing issues in your property? Did you handle them yourself thanks to our plumbing tips, or did you call a professional? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!
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