Owning a home requires a lot of work. Whether it’s maintaining your plumbing, cleaning your floors, or inspecting your roof. You don’t want to have to rely on a professional for every small problem that you encounter. That’s why it’s a good idea to understand the basics of some of these tasks. Here are three simple plumbing tips that new homeowners need to learn.
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How To Shut Off The Water To The Home
The first plumbing tip that every homeowner needs to understand is the location of the main shut-off valve for the home. Turning this valve will prevent any more water from entering the home’s plumbing system from the outside supply feed. Each house in the country is required to have one of these valves. It’s important to know where the valve is and how to use it.
The exact location of the valve is going to vary based on the size, location, and age of your home. The best way to find it is to walk outside and look at where the outside hose spigot is – usually the shut off valve is directly under the spigot. The service riser that houses this shut off valve is usually on the street side of the residence for reference if you are looking for your valve. By turning the handle you can completely shut off all incoming water. There is either a round handle that you would rotate clockwise or counterclockwise or a lever valve that you would pull up or down.
Closing off this valve is one of the first steps when you encounter a plumbing problem. If there are leaking pipes in the walls, then the only way to stop water from entering those pipes is by shutting off the water at this location.
How To Shut Off Water To Certain fixture locations
If a sink or dishwasher is leaking, then you don’t necessarily need to shut off the water at the home’s main valve. Sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, and most appliances that use water have their own independent valves. The turn off valves are called angle stops these valves let you control the on off isolation of the particular fixture it serves.
These valves are often located very near to the appliance they are used for. The shut-off valve for a toilet is often against the wall near the bottom of the toilet. For the sink, the valve is often in the cabinet beneath the sink. A washing machine valve is most likely behind or beside the washing machine.
These valves make it possible to make repairs, replacements, or modifications to the appliances without turning off the water at the main valve. For example, if the sink the bathroom is leaking, but can’t be fixed for several days, then you can shut off the valve at the sink and the rest of the house will still have water. Please note that if these valves do not turn freely do not force them as they will snap causing a much more larger flood problem than as if you left it alone. If they do not turn freely or leak behind the handle when turned you should call a plumber to schedule a replacement usually replace both the hot and cold at the same time.
Know What Goes Where
It’s easy to view sinks, toilets, and garbage disposals as drains that will carry away whatever you put in them. In reality, a lot of things can get stuck in the piping and lead to serious problems. Clogs can result in toilets or sinks that no longer work. In worst case scenarios, the pipes can break and serious flooding can occur.
The power of the garbage disposal is often overestimated. There are some items that you should never put into a garbage disposal even if its food leftover on a plate. Some of those items include bones, pasta, egg shells, coffee grounds, and grease.
Many homes across the country have dealt with clogged pipes because of grease. Grease should never be poured into any sink, toilet, or garbage disposal. Grease is best disposed of in a closed container and thrown into the trash.
Remember The Basics
These plumbing basics are enough to reduce the risk of any serious damage to your home due to plumbing failures and errors. Be careful of what you place in your drains or disposals. If a leak does occur, then use the nearby shut off valve or the home’s main shut off valve. And remember not to block these areas so that you will have easy access if an emergency occurs.
DiamondBack Plumbing The Plumbing Professional
17423 N 25th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85023