Human beings have had plumbing for centuries, and it has evolved over time. Today, homes enjoy hot and cold water supply whenever they want. The principles of this system are quite simple, provided you have a basic understanding of pressure and valves. However, when your plumbing fails, you have a serious problem. To solve a small problem before it becomes a big issue, 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 tip-top condition.
Keep an eye out for trouble
Plumbing problems, like anything else, don’t just suddenly appear out of nowhere; there are always signs that point towards an impending disaster. Keep an eye out for signs of trouble like dripping refrigerators, rocking toilets, leaking faucets, and damp cabinets. All these signs point towards something going on with your plumbing, and you should fix it immediately.
Some problems like leaking faucets invite other problems. A leaking faucet will increase the overall moisture level of your home, which can potentially cause a mold problem. Remember, mold is a real health risk. Make sure you fix issues as fast as possible to ensure your house stays mold-free and your family stays healthy.
Know where to run when trouble strikes
Preparation is one of the best ways to nip plumbing problems in the bud. If you wind up with a busted pipe, you don’t want to find yourself unprepared. Before trouble strikes, you should locate all the relevant shutoff valves and know how to access them. Additionally, make sure you place any relevant tools where you can easily reach them. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to locate a valve you have never seen while simultaneously dealing with a leaking pipe.
Shutting off appliances
You should also know how to cut off the water supply to water-using appliances in the home 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.
Find the sewer valve
You also need to know the location of your 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.
Learn 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, all you really need are the basic ones like a sewer snake, a pipe wrench, and a plunger. You can also take a few adult classes and learn some plumbing skills from local contractors. Furthermore, you can also find books that can teach you these skills from the comfort of your own home. With the skills and proper tools, plumbing problems like leaking faucets, stuck valves, clogged drains, and blocked toilets won’t be a cause for panic. 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, your plumbing can create emergencies for you that you never anticipated. Water expands as it freezes, and when that happens inside your pipes, it can cause them to burst and leak. The worst part is it is often challenging to find a plumber during the winter (they’re often exceptionally busy). The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to insulate your pipes. Insulate every pipe in an open space, and in 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 on a trickle so that the water inside the pipes does not freeze over.
If your pipes do happen to freeze, don’t fret. 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 hairdryer. 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. If all else fails, you can always contact us here at Diamondback Plumbing. We’re always standing by to give you a helping hand!