Knowing your way around your home’s plumbing can save more than just a soggy mess – but also a hefty chunk of change.
With some basic knowledge, you can turn a plumbing nightmare into nothing more than a fleeting dream. Of course, bigger plumbing problems will most likely require the pros, and our plumbers are always ready to respond.
But for everyday preventative maintenance and fixing smaller snafus, our Orcutt plumbers have devised a list of plumbing tips for homeowners.
Find your Water Main and Shut-off Valve
The water main is the first access point for water going into your home, it’s typically located near the water heater. It’s on the main where you’ll see a shutoff valve (either a lever or wheel), where you can completely stop the flow of water into your home.
If you ever have to do a major plumbing project, or if you have a big leak or burst pipe, shutting off the water main is the first step you take. For plumbing emergencies, quickly accessing the shutoff valve can mean the difference between a little puddle and an indoor pool where you hadn’t planned on one.
Deal with Clogged Drains the Right Way
A clogged drain is an inevitability for a homeowner – it’s not a matter of if but when – and more than likely you’ve dealt with plenty before. So, we might be preaching to the choir here, but here are some extra tips you may not have thought of.
The first instinct, when confronted with a clog, might be to use one of those liquid drain cleaners. That’s a big mistake, in our opinion.
It seems like an easy fix to an annoying problem, but the chemicals in those products can harm your plumbing infrastructure. If your sink or tub keeps backing up, get a snake or similar tool that can pull out any debris blocking your pipes.
Baking soda and white vinegar is also a potent combo for a clog – and eliminating potential odors, as well.
Using one part baking soda to two parts white vinegar, just pour the baking soda down the drain followed by a slow pour of white vinegar. Wait 15 minutes for the bubbling concoction to do its thing, then wash away with boiling hot water to rid the drain of any remaining residue.
For more drain tips, check out this blog.
Take Care of Your Toilet
Start by making sure you only flush toilet paper and your own waste. Cotton swabs, baby wipes, paper towels and other things can lead to clogs. Of course, we’ll all need a plunger at times, so make sure you’ve got one on hand.
You also want to make sure your toilet is working properly. If it’s running, it might be a sign that a part in the tank needs replacing.
Look for Signs of Leaks
A leak can spring up when you least expect it and oftentimes in places you wouldn’t always know to look. Be on the lookout at all times for spots of discoloration on walls and ceilings.
A musty, mildew smell in basements, attics, or crawl spaces is a common sign of mold buildup as a result of a water leak. Periodically check for leaks around water fixtures and appliances, under sinks, and in crawl spaces.
Being proactive is another good way to catch a leaky problem before it becomes something more serious.
Of course, plumbing problems sometimes require a pro, and you can contact our friendly Orcutt plumbers anytime at 805-934-1949.