Homeowners can often save money on minor plumbing repairs by following DIY plumbing tips and tricks. Make sure to be careful when using these tips if you are totally unfamiliar with plumbing systems, as seemingly small mistakes can cause major plumbing emergencies.
Even if you don’t plan on doing any of your own plumbing repairs, check out the plumbing tips toward the end of this blog to find out how to help prevent plumbing emergencies. These simple tips involve helping to preserve the integrity of your faucets, fixtures, and pipes that will help ward off common plumbing problems.
If You Have a Project You Can Take on Yourself
Study and understand your plumbing layout
Figure out where the pipes run in your walls, which are bringing water in and which are taking waste away. The more familiar you are with your plumbing system, the less likely you will cause problems when making repairs.
Know where your main water shutoff valve is located
Usually, it’s found near the meter where water first enters your house. If you have a major leak, turn off the water flow as quickly as possible so you don’t have to deal with flooding and water damage in addition to whatever caused your original problem. Your home probably has individual shutoffs for different rooms, as well (typically found in the basement). Take advantage of this to cut off the room where you’re working but still have water flowing to the rest of the house.
Make sure you have the right tools for the job
Assemble a full assortment of pliers, wrenches, saws and files and whatever else a project calls for before you start so you don’t find yourself making an emergency trip to the hardware store while your sink is disassembled.
These plumbing tips won’t help you take on problems you can’t handle
It’s better to admit when you don’t have the knowledge to tackle a problem on your own and call in an expert right away instead of risking mistakes that can end up making your problems even worse. These or any other plumbing tips shouldn’t be used to make household plumbing repairs if you have absolutely no prior knowledge of how plumbing systems work. Never attempt to make repairs to your plumbing system unless you’re totally sure you can handle it on your own. Check out our article, “Signs you need to call a plumber” for more information.
Ways you can prevent plumbing problems even if you don’t plan on making repairs
Be careful with what you put down your garbage disposal
Don’t overload your garbage disposal or put items down the disposal that will put a strain on the system, such as banana peels or eggshells. Always double check to make sure no silverware has fallen into the disposal before running it.
Don’t pour grease down the drain
Any sort of grease is guaranteed to clog your pipes.
Don’t flush anything but human waste and toilet paper down the toilet
As tempting as it may be, you should never use your toilet as a garbage can. Any items you flush down the toilet besides human waste and toilet paper can cause major clogs, especially if you have a septic tank.
Keep a plunger in every bathroom
Always have a plunger near each toilets so you don’t have to go running through the house to find one. The quicker you can tackle a clogged toilet, the less likely the chance it will overflow.
Establish a relationship with a plumber before you have an emergency
When you first move into a new home, it’s a good idea to have a plumber come in and give your system a once-over to make sure there aren’t any lingering issues that your home’s previous owners may have missed or not informed you about. This will reduce the likelihood of you having plumbing problems down the line, and if a plumbing emergency does come up, you’ll already have someone to call that you not only know and trust, but is already familiar with your home’s plumbing system.
Need professional guidance on with your project?
Give 24 Hour Emergency Plumbing Services a call for further advice on these plumbing tips or to assist you with any other plumbing needs. We’re available day and night 24/7, and can be to your house within 30 minutes to deal with any plumbing emergencies you may have.