10 Plumbing Tips to Bookmark
Are you dealing with a dripping faucet, low water pressure, or clogged pipe? You’re probably tempted to call a professional plumber, and with good reason. Homeowners usually don’t have the necessary skills for a D-I-Y plumbing job. They can even make matters worse in the end, triggering thousands of dollars in property and personal damage. Here are 10 basic plumbing secrets every homeowner should know.
- Know the location of your shut off valves.
- Know where your pipes are. Make sure you don’t puncture pipes when drilling into the wall.
- Find out what’s flushable. Don’t use your toilet as a garbage can. Flushing anything except toilet paper leads to nasty clogs. Even “flushable” baby wipes can back up the system!
- Never dump coffee grounds, food debris, bacon grease, vegetable peelings, or starchy foods like rice or potatoes down the kitchen drain; they will almost certainly clog your pipes.
- Invest in a high-quality plunger to clear clogs in toilets, sinks, and drains.
- When you’re trying to dislodge a clog caused by a small, hard object (like a child’s toy, toothbrush, or comb), rely on a wet-dry vacuum. It’s more effective to suck the object out.
- Don’t ignore leaks.
- That steady drip, drip, drip of a fixture symbolizes money going down the drain and a small problem that could become a big one.
- Never over-tighten fittings. A common DIY plumbing mistake is over-tightening fittings and connections, which leads to broken bolts and stripped screws. Remember this adage: “hand-tight is just right.”
- Make friends with plumbers tape. Plumber’s tape (also called Teflon tape) is used to seal pipe threads to prevent leaks around joints and fittings. You should typically wrap plumber’s tape three times around the pipe threads before sealing.
If you run into plumbing issues, have a leak, or think you have a major clog, it’s best to hire a plumbing professional immediately.