Plumbing can be very intimidating to someone that has never done it before. It can easily lead to a bit of information overload because of all of the resources available to new plumbers. Below are some tips to assist you in getting all of this information organized to where you can start plumbing correctly.
Once or twice a year, drain a few inches of water from your water heater using the valve located at the bottom. The water may be rusty-looking or brown, which is the point of this practice; sediment settles to the bottom of the tank and rests there. Flushing some of this sediment from the tank can extend the lifespan of your hot water heater.
If your pipes are prone to freezing, let the water trickle continuously in at least one faucet during weather that is below freezing. This will minimize the chances that the pipes will freeze and leave you without water. If water is continually running through the pipes and trickling out of a faucet, the pipes are less likely to freeze.
If you need to locate a pipe under the floor, attach a strong magnet to a solid line coated with fish tape. Flush the magnet or throw it in a drain. Make sure to attach the line to something or to have someone hold it. Use a compass to locate the magnet and the pipe.
If your pipes do freeze you should turn off the main water valve so when the ice melts there aren’t many problems. As the ice melts you should leave the faucet on so it relieves the pressure. You could also day a blow dryer to the pipes to help the ice melt, but never a blow torch since that is way too dangerous.
If you are in need of a new bathtub, try to get one that is made of porcelain enamel. These kinds of tubs do require precise and proper care, but their advantage is that they are able to withstand the chemicals that are found in many bathtub cleaning products.
Many people complain of low water pressure. While there are several things that can cause this, one must not be overlooked when starting your investigation. What kind of pipes do you have? If your piping is galvanized, you are better off just replacing your piping which will eliminate the issue.
To compare the quality of your pipes or sewers over time, create a video for documentation purposes. Several months later, make the same video so that you can see if there are any new cracks or holes that require fixing. This can serve as a great way to analyze your infrastructure.
If you’re planning to leave on vacation then it’s key to make sure you turn off the main shut off valve to your plumbing. This will ensure that nothing floods or breaks while you’re gone, leaving you with a horrendous mess to return to and headaches you don’t want to deal with.
When you’re leaving for vacation it’s a great idea to turn your gas water heater to the “vacation” setting before you leave. If you have an electric water heater you can turn the breaker off that leads to it instead. This will save you electricity which is being wasted on heating water you’re not using.
When installing a new water heater you need to keep your budget in mind for the upcoming purchase. Low entry gas water heaters usually start around $200 and they usually hold 40 to 50 gallons. Higher line heaters start around $400 and they usually have extra features like 12 year warranties.
Check your toilet for leaks. Once a month, put a couple of drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. After half an hour, check the toilet bowl. If the water is slightly colored, the tank is leaking. You can fix the leak by replacing the stopper in the tank. People waste a lot of water through leaky tanks, without even knowing it.
Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem that no-one wants, so plan now to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the exterior water shut-off valve located inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water that has collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside so they don’t crack from the cold weather.
One of the things that you can do to safeguard your home from any serious plumbing issues is to install a flood alarm. This is a device that will sound when it comes in contact with water, alerting you if there are any issues in a particular area in the house.
A great plumbing tip which can save you a lot of money on a daily basis is to invest in a low GPF (gallons per flush) model toilet. As such, every time you flush the toilet you will be using less water than before, and doing so will save you on your water bill.
Never hire a plumber that is not licensed, insured and bonded. If the plumbing company cannot provide you with reference numbers for their credentials, move on quickly. It is a common question and it should be a no-brainer for them to provide them to you. If they have issues with you asking, take that as a big red flag.
An important plumbing-related decision that must be made these days is the choice between an electric water heater or a gas water heater. In these times with gas costing as much as it does, it is more cost efficient to buy an electric water heater, especially if you have a smaller water heater.
Hopefully, these tips have provided you with some very valuable information, as well as given you a way to organize all of the thoughts and information you may have already had on plumbing. Keeping these tips in mind when you start plumbing can help you to become a very good plumber.