8 Plumbing Tips Everyone Needs to Know

Where to find shut-off valves

Make sure you know where the main shut-off valve is for the water supply in your home. It is the place where water enters your home, either from a well or town water, before being distributed to other fixtures and pipes. If you ever have a Plumbing Emergency you will want to know the location of this so that you can shut off the water immediately to prevent a costly and large disaster.

If you have a septic tank, it is important to know the location of your sewer access point. You should also know where to turn off the pipes that lead to your outdoor spigots.

Apartments and condominiums may not have dedicated shut-off valves. Consult your landlord or condominium association.

Remember to always keep plumbing lines in mind

Homeowners are known to accidentally puncture pipes while working on their projects (even a small nick can lead to a leak). If you’re doing a DIY, be aware of plumbing fixtures, heat vents or other appliances nearby that may have pipes hidden behind the wall or floor.

Flush Wisely

Only toilet paper should go down the toilet. This is a very important point, as a clogged or blocked toilet is one of most common repairs. The result of flushing anything else could be a serious problem. Even products that are “flushable”, such as baby wipes or feminine products, can cause your plumbing to back up.

How to dispose of garbage properly

The garbage disposal should only be used for food waste. Never put leafy vegetables, vegetable peelings or coffee grounds down there. These items can eventually cause a clog.

Pro Tip:

A good plunger is a must-have for any clog. A powerful plunger will often remove clogs from toilets, sinks and drains. Use a plunger before removing a trap to clean a sink if your weekend chores involve cleaning it. The task will be much less messy and wet.

Wet Vac to the Rescue

A wet-dry vac can be used to clear a blockage if you can see it or even a small part of it. If you have a small, hard object, such as a hair clip or toy, that is blocking your drain, try sucking the item out. In this case, a plunger will only push the object deeper into the drain.

Always check your work

Remember to check for leaks after you have completed a DIY plumbing project or repair. After running water for several minutes through the system, check the area where the repair is being made, underneath the sink. Open and close all valves and drains that are associated with the repairs. Even professionals need to tighten or reseal valves and connections. Take the time to double-check your work.

Never ignore leaks

You are wasting money if you have a leaky faucet or a tiny leak in the sink. This is also a sign of impending trouble. A leaking faucet can waste up to 8 gallons of water per day. Running toilets waste around 200 gallons of water per day. You can save money by repairing small leaks before they grow.

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