Plumbing has been with us for centuries and it has evolved with time. Today, homes enjoy hot and cold water supply whenever they want. The principles of this system are quite simple, pressure, and valves. However, you when they fail, homeowners have a serious problem. In order to solve small problem before they become big issues, you need to keep out an eye for signs of trouble as a savvy homeowner. Here are a few tips to make sure your plumbing system stays in a top condition.
Keep an eye out for trouble
Trouble in plumbing, like everything else, does not just visit without warning; there are always signs that there is an impending disaster. Keep an eye out for signs of trouble like dripping refrigerators, rocking toilets, leaking faucets, and damp cabinets. All these are signs that there is something going on without your plumbing that you should fix immediately.
Some problems like leaking faucets invite other problems. A leaking faucet will make the house damp and cause mold problem. The damp will wear off the sink fixtures and the mold is a real health risk. Make sure you fix problems as fast as possible to ensure your house stays dry and your family stays healthy.
Know where to run when trouble strikes
Preparation is one of the best ways to beat problems. When a busted pipe finds you unprepared, you have no idea what tools to use or which valve to switch off or worse, you do not even know where to find the valve. Before trouble strikes, you should locate all the relevant valves and know what you may need to access them or turn them on and off when necessary. Then place the tools aside where you can easily reach them when you need them. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to locate a valve you have never seen when there is water flooding the house from a busted pipe.
Shutting off appliances
You should also know how to cut off the water supply to water using appliances in the house like the refrigerator’s icemaker, toilets, sinks, and washing machines. In case they malfunction or something goes wrong, just cutting off their water supply can prevent a lot of damage and loss of property.
Spot the sewer valve
You also need to locate the location of the main sewer valve. This is not only important during sewer cleaning, but also for maintenance. No need to make the maintenance technicians spend unnecessary hours trying to find the valve when there is a clog up when you can locate it early in advance.
Lean how to handle minor problems
Armed with a few tools and some little knowledge, most people can handle minor plumbing issues without having to call in the plumber. For tools, if you have basic ones like a sewer snake, a pipe wrench and a plunger. You can attend a few adult classes and learn some plumbing skills. You can also find books that can teach you these skills from the comfort of your home. With the skills and your tools, plumbing problems like leaking faucets, stuck valves, clogged drains, and blocked toilets will not send you into panic mode. You can easily handle them without having to spend any cash on a plumber.
Prevent frozen pipes before they start
In the harsh winter weather, you plumbing can create emergencies for you that you never anticipated. Water can expand inside pipes and burst them. When they thaw the cracks floods creating a big mess. The worst part is it is very difficult to find a plumber during this period. The best way to prevent the expanding and bursting of pipes, consider insulating the pipes in open spaces and crawl spaces using easy to install insulators. Before the arrival of winter, take the hoses inside and insulate outdoor fixtures.
During winter, make sure that the cabinet doors in the kitchen and other rooms are open to let the warmer air inside the house to floor closer to the plumbing and prevent freezing. Water taps can also be left to flow very slowly so that the water inside the pipes does not freeze over.
When the pipes happen to freeze, do not go into a fit. You can still manage the situation. You will first need to shut off the main water supply to the house. Then you need to open a faucet located near the blocked area so that it can vent vapors from the frozen water. Turn off the hot water heater if you have a feeling that the hot water pipes have also frozen. You can thaw the frozen pipes using a hair dryer. You should never use open flames like a blowtorch to thaw pipes. Start thawing at areas near the faucet but never near standing water. When the water starts to flow through the open faucets, you will know that the pipe has begun to thaw. Once the flow resumes, you should check the pipes for cracks.